Showing posts with label Seriously WTF?. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Seriously WTF?. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Moving a Bookcase in Six Steps


It's chaos.

I'm not talking about what's going on in our country. My chaos is personal and oh so mundane, but real: The chaos I create when I want to move one thing. Just one lousy thing. Doesn't matter what it is, a lamp, a table, a bookcase, or a box of research. To move one thing requires moving a lot of other stuff—before, during, and after moving that one thing.

This morning I wanted to move a short, almost empty bookcase from its temporary spot against the wall to a permanent place alongside my desk. A matter of three feet, if that.

Step One: Move the bookcase and various piles of paper files, books, and boxes from beneath my desk and the other side of it to whatever surface is available and not in the path of moving objects.

Step Two: Remove the floor lamp from the side of the desk to wherever it's not in the way.

Step Three: Nudge little by little the desk (a sturdy pine kitchen table, so somewhat nudgable) more towards the wall.

Step Four: Remove the odd-size boxes from where the bookcase shall go.

Step Five: Take the bulletin board off the wall from behind the door.

Intermission:  Oh-Oh. The Husband and I won't be able to close and open the office door if I place the bookcase against the side of the desk. So I try other configurations. No. No. And, No. Sigh.

Step Six: Decide that we don't need to close the office door, and put the bookcase where I originally wanted it.

Done!

Seconds later, the Husband peeked into the office.

"Oh, you moved the bookcase," said the Husband. "That's good. Will we be able to open the door?"

"I think your little table will fit perfectly here," I said, nodding at the empty space where once temporarily stood the bookcase.

"Sure," said the Husband, but not with that much enthusiasm. "Do you want me to move it now?"

"When you have the chance today."

"I can do it now."

Meoooow. Molly the Cat sniffed her way into the office. The girl hasn't bounced her way up the stairs before breakfast in weeks. Curious to all the noise and chatter of the humans, she was.

The Husband cleared stuff from the little table, lifted it from the top of the file cabinet, and carried it to its new space in the office. Yes, it definitely looked perfect there.

"Anything else?" asked the Husband.

"Maybe after breakfast," I answered, thinking about a dresser that I want moved downstairs. Sigh.

The Husband glanced at the door now kept open by the bookcase. "Will we ever need to close the door?. . . I guess not."


Today's hook up is with All Seasons, hosted by Jesh at Artworks from JeshSTG. Click here to check out other participants and/or to join in.


Monday, January 18, 2016

What's Wrong with People?


"Today is a holiday," I reminded the Mama this morning. "So, no mail. No library. No banks. No schools."

"What's the holiday?" the Mama asked.

"Martin Luther King Day."

"Is this the day he was born?"

"Yes."

The Mama sighed. "The good people die too soon. Poor man."

She shook her head. "The crazy person who killed him. Too many crazy people. What's wrong with people?"

The Mama's question had me pondering throughout the morning. My conclusion, at the moment: Insecurity. Fear is based on insecurity. Anger? A person gets angry because she does not get her way, which puts her in an insecure position. Jealousy is essentially feeling insecure for not having what someone else has. Greed in a person is due to his insecurity that he don't have what others have.

Unfortunately, there are greedy, angry, jealous, and fearful people in this world who manipulate our insecurities for their purposes. I like to think that the majority of us have our heads screwed on straight and can see through their inhuman minds and souls. I have faith that positive light prevails over negativity.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!


A cute huge puppy lives next door. Whenever his humans go to work, they put him in his kennel outside. That is near our kitchen window.

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!

All day.

The puppy has gotten better about barking and howling less. And, as long as I'm on the other side of our house, I can tolerate his whines and demands to be brought back inside the house. But, there are times when my patience wears thin.

The Mama told me to be nice and not tell them about the barking and howling.  What about them being nice, I said.

His humans are nice people. A young couple. The Husband and I talked with them a couple of weeks ago. It turned out they are aware of the puppy's barking and howling. We were the third neighbor to inform them.

The puppy's humans are doing their best to resolve the problem.  At least, I hope so.

I do feel sorry for the puppy being out in the elements during the day. Still.

Bark, Bark! Hooooooowwwwwwl!



Monday, September 14, 2015

Haute Hippie Couture


I walked into a woman's boutique shop in Santa Cruz to check out a very cute East-Indian style top that I saw in its window. It was similar to ones I wore when I was a very young thing. I thought if the cost was right it was going home with me. I was even willing to pay $45 for it, although I thought it was worth $20 bucks.

I have no sense of how much clothing are worth these days. Twenty bucks was how much I paid for eccentric stuff, which the the parents called hippie clothes, at import shops when I was a very young thing.

The East-Indian tops of yore were made of a thin cotton. This modern version was made of a smooth, rich-feeling fabric that turned out to be rayon. Not being silk, I figured the top would be very affordable.

Then I finally found the price tag.

One hundred ninety-eight dollars!

Shall I say that again: $198.00!!

Seriously.

When I got home, I looked up the designer online. Maybe I'd find the top for cheaper.

Ha!

$218.00!!!

I saw several other tops on the designer's website that were my type of clothing. Free-flowing, patchwork tunics that started at $168.00. Wowza!

It's time to sew me some crazy tops.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Random Scenes: Other People's Junk


“Panties!” the middle-aged woman exclaimed, working her way against the stream of incoming buyers and gawkers. A couple stepped aside when she grumbled, “No respect at all!”

The petite woman carefully placed her estate sale purchases in the back of her prized green 1957 Chevrolet truck. She flipped open a velvet blue lace fan and cooled herself. She wondered who in her right mind would want to buy a dead lady’s panties.

“Hey Midge!” shouted her friend who called herself Lara today. Midge strode over to pick up the bags and baskets beside Lara.

“Lots of great stuff,” Lara said. “Did you see that Whitman copy of Spin and Marty?”

“I would've bought it, if it wasn't falling apart,” said Midge.

Lara nodded. “They should’ve just dumped it. Quite a lot of stuff they should’ve burned or taken to the dump.”

“No kidding,” said Midge. “They were even selling. . .”

“You’ll never guess what I bought!” Lara said at the same time.

“Panties!"

“Panties!”

“What?”

“What?”

“What are you going to do with a dead woman’s panties?”

The bright red haired wigged woman giggled. “They’re not what you think, Midge. They aren’t the sensible grandma panties at all.” Lara opened a bag. “Look at this beautiful handcrafted lace.”

“Are they brand new?”

“Noooo.”

“Then no, thank you,” said Midge, opening the door to her truck.

“Party pooper,”said Lara.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t get your knickers in a bunch. There’s a barn sale up the road, I hear.”

Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 45 with Tilda-Hilda


A few weeks ago, a young boy was run over by a bus a couple blocks away from our street. He was riding his bicycle. I don't know what the particulars were. I can only think that both the boy and the driver did not pay attention at the same moment. It was unfortunate. Now, at that spot is a memorial for the boy.

I thought of that event this morning as I rode in the bicycle lane on a main road. As I approached intersections, drivers moved into the bicycle lane so that they could turn right. One driver didn't even signal her intent. She abruptly jumped in front of me. I rang my bell and called out, "You asshole." A walker on the sidewalk said, "You need a bullhorn." Her companion said, "Be careful."

Indeed. It takes two not paying attention at the same moment to have an accident. I don't plan on having one. Nor do I plan on giving up my morning rides.

Today, Tilda-Hilda and I rode for 53 minutes, pedaling about nine-and-a-half miles.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day


Memorial Day
by Helen Leah Reed

        No warrior he, a village lad,
                needing nor words nor other prod
        To point his duty; he was glad
                to tread the path his fathers trod.
        Week days he worked in wood and field;
                with homely joys he decked his life;
        The sword of hate he would not wield,
                nor take a part in cankering strife.
        On Sunday in the little choir
                he sang of Peace and brotherly love,
        And as his thoughts soared higher and higher,
                they reached unmeasured heights above.

        A cry for Freedom rent the Land -
                "Our Country calls, come, come, 'tis War;
        Together let us firmly stand;"
                he answered, though his heart beat sore
        At leaving home, and kin, and one
                in whose fond eyes too late he read
        That life for her had but begun
                with the farewells he sadly said.


        A half a century has passed -
                and more - since all those myriads fell;
        For he was one of those who cast
                sweet life into a Battle's hell.
        The village has become a town,
                brick buildings the old graveyard gird;
        Of him who fought not for renown,
                no one now hears a spoken word,
        But on the Monument his name
                in gold is lettered with the rest.
        Without a sordid thought of fame
                he to his Country gave his best.

        Strew flowers, then, Memorial Day
                for him, for all who for us fought.
        With speech and music honors pay;
                teach what our brave defenders taught.
        And now our sons are setting out;
                the call for Right rings to the sky,
        "Our Country! Freedom!" hear them shout,
                re-echoing their Grandsires' cry.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Random Scenes: Don't Slam the Door!


Don't Slam the Door!
by Su-sieee! Mac
S-L-A-M !!
 

“ALESSA!”
 

“I’m sorry, Ma,” said the tiny young girl. “I forgot.”
 

“One of these days, Alessa, something terribly awful will happen when you slam that door,” said her mom.
 

“Yes, Mom,” Alessa said, thinking that was just too silly of an idea. Still, it did frighten Alessa a little and she stopped slamming the door. 

Then, one day she forgot.

S-L-A-M !!

The building shook.

Things tumbled off the shelves and walls.

The trees and the houses rocked and rolled.


The bridges collapsed.

The roads crumbled.

The cities fell apart.


The water in the bay shook. 

The mountain tops blew off.
 

All over the world, the crusts moved and shook and sunk and rose.

The earth spun off its wobble.


It bumped into the moon, next into Mars, and then into Jupiter.

Earth bounced back towards the sun, sucking up all the other planets of the solar system.

The sun and all the planets exploded and swirled into a swirl, swirling, swirling, swirling and collapsing into a black hole.

Everything was pitch black. Silent.

Please, please, please.

Don’t slam the door.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another Rambling Saturday


The greatest thing that happened this past week was Rainy Thursday. It rained throughout the day and night. And, at one point, it came down in buckets. Of course, I had to go outside and take photos. I got totally drenched, and loved every huge raindrop that my tee-shirt absorbed.

The Mama loved the rain, too. She was outside when the rain started, and decided to go hang out in the shed as the sky kept crying. On this coming Wednesday's post, I'll share what she did during the rain.

Writing Travel Bits
Lately, I've been writing descriptions about local places for Mapquest. Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be a travel writer, but other things came along to drop that thought in the wish bucket. Writing these occasional short pieces is fulfilling that dream. Here are a few of the places I've written about so far: Pinnacles National Park, National Steinbeck Center, San Benito County Historical Park, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.

A rock climber at the Pinnacles National Park

Vanna White
On most week nights, we watch The Wheel of Fortune with the Mama. Every time Vanna White walks to the puzzle board, I wonder the same thing. How much does Vanna White make? After years of asking that question, I finally remembered last night and did a Google search. I now wish I had not. It truly is better to be ignorant about some things.

How much do you think she earns touching the lit-up squares so that the letters appear?

Eight million dollars a year! So says Celebrity Net Worth.com.

Yeah, I know. I'm going to cheer myself right now by baking lemon zucchini bread, with poppy seeds, if I can find them.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

M-a-n-i-p-u-l-a-t-i-n-g. Manipulating


I would like to think that the only good manipulating I do these days is what I do with my photos in Photoshop. Not that I think I manipulate people to my way of thinking or doing. Although, there are time when I wish people would stop thinking the ways of the dark force.

Once upon a time, I had a very good girlfriend. We had wonderful adventures together. Did a lot of crazy stuff. Supported each other through our poor days of college studies. And, so forth and so on. Then one day we had a falling out. I had a rough work day, so was not at my best of listening to her troubles and was quite short with her. Ha! Wrong thing to do. No matter how much I apologized and tried to make amends, she chose to sever our friendship. Her final words depressed and angered me the most. I don't recall them precisely anymore, which is good. They were something like this: "I got all that I wanted out of you."

It took me a long while, but I finally saw the light. Who says things like that? Patooie. 

Now, how did I get onto that topic. It does feel good writing it out loud though. Anyhow. Here's the original photo for the manipulated one above.  What do you think?

See ya tomorrow.



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Molly the Don't-Mess-with-Me Cat!


"You want a picture, Su-sieee! Mac?" asked Molly the Cat. "Okay, I'll give you a sweet picture!"

Did she ever!

Today, Molly the Cat and I are linking up at Sweet Shot Tuesday, hosted by Kent Weakley. Click here to check out sweet shots by other bloggers.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cubed Tofu


Did you know that you can buy tofu already cubed? 

Seriously. I must quote the Mama now. "These businessmen are very smart. They know how to make money."

The other night I opened what I thought was a container of a block of extra-firm tofu. As I was about to drain the now opened container, I noticed loose pieces of tofu. What the heck? Then, I saw that the container was full of small pieces of tofu. I looked at the wrapper. Extra-firm CUBED tofu!  Again: What the heck?  

So much for having fried slices of tofu with roasted Brussels sprouts for dinner. It was time to get creative.  As the Brussels sprouts roasted in the toaster oven, I diced a fragment of orange bell pepper, a handful of browning chives, cilantro, and a bunch of garlic cloves. I also chopped salami slices, which I found in the freezer. 

I heated a big glob of bacon fat. Yes, bacon fat. The bell pepper was thrown in first. Two minutes later, the cubed tofu. Stir. Stir. Stir. In went the rest of the ingredients. Ding. The Brussels sprouts were done. Some leaves were burnt. I pulled out as many as I could, then tossed the Brussels sprouts into the tofu mix. Stir. Stir. Stir. Done!

It was okay. Probably better that fried slices of tofu.

Next time I'll make sure to read the tofu container label. Who the heck can't cube tofu?!

Much later: I decided to link up with Mix It Up Monday. Is it the right place to be? Someone will tell me otherwise,  I'm sure. Want to check out recipes and DIY craft instructions with me?  Click here.

Mixitup

Monday, April 14, 2014

Knowing the Language


Nearly 35 years ago, a college professor, who hailed from Australia, told me if it weren't for the awkwardness of my writing, I would've got a higher score on my paper. She forgave me for some of my usage and grammar because, according to her, "English is your second language."

For once, I kept my mouth closed rather than enlighten her on how wrong she was.

English is the only language I can read, write, speak, and understand fluently. Proficiently, too, except for the lapses in awkward writing and the proper use of grammar, word choice, and cliches. I'm especially good at forgetting articles (the, a, an, and so on) and getting prepositions mixed up, which, I think is because the Ilocano language has no articles and, as far as I can tell, one preposition.

As I was growing up the parents mostly spoke Ilocano to me while I spoke English to them. I still do that with the Mama, and the Husband finds it very strange. It's really not unusual with immigrant parents and their American-born children. Once, I tried talking to the parents in Ilocano, but they couldn't figure out what I was saying. "Your accent is funny," said the Mama, after she and the Daddy stopped laughing.

When I was a kid, many Filipinos who just immigrated to the U.S. thought I couldn't understand Ilocano. After all, I greeted them in English when they came to visit the Mama and the Daddy. It was inevitable when the parents weren't around that a visitor would say in front of me, but in Ilocano, "My, the daughter is fat!" Another visitor would respond, "She probably can eat a whole pig by herself." And, they would all snicker.

I pretended that I didn't understand, although when I became a teenager, it was very difficult not to put them in their place. But that was okay. I just waited for the moment when the Mama would ask me to serve refreshments. In Ilocano. Then, one of the visitors would ask awkwardly, "She can understand the language."

"Yes," the Mama would say. "She was born in the United States. Even though we speak to her in our language, she can only speak English."

The visitors always cringed and fidgeted.

As I write this I wonder if the Mama may have also overhead the visitors say rude things about me, and that was her way of getting back at them. After all, I rarely saw any visitors who talked "behind" my back come to the house again.
I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month. To check out other participants, click here. See you tomorrow.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Amazing, But Unplanned, Stunt


The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday morning, as I was pedaling my pretty pink bicycle. Quite freaky, in fact. Totally insane. I wish I had one of those cameras strapped to my head so I could've recorded the whole thing, which lasted a few seconds but in slooooooooow motion seemed God, Almighty! long. In my mind, what I did is akin (almost) to attempting the circle-of death-biker stunt. Hey! Don't laugh. You gotta remember I'm a fat, young old fogey turning 60 in a few months, which I say in a very positive way.

Okay, okay. I think I've got your attention to the kinda, somewhat, yes, indeed risk I experienced yesterday morning.

It was about 8:17 a.m. For those of you who don't know my normal pattern, that hour is like sunrise for me. The Husband was still snoozing in bed, the Mama was eating her breakfast, and Molly the Cat was gazing out the back window probably thinking about climbing the fence. Me, I had a meeting to go to and by, golly, this time I had planned to not be the one straggling in behind everyone else.

The morning was overcast. By the end of the block, I realized I should've worn gloves. That's okay, I thought. I'll just pull the cuffs of my hoody over my hands.  Nothing to it. So, steadying the bike with my right hand, I reached with my left to tug on the right sleeve when. . .

What the heck! The bike became unsteady. It wobbled, leaned to the left, and suddenly I found myself coasting at a slant as the bike began arcing into a circle. Oh, my God! I'm going to fall!
I believe I was actually riding on the inner rim of the tires. If there's anything I fear, it's falling. Yes, yes. I jumped out of a plane at 18,000 feet, but that really is different. I did not want to fall sideways in the middle of the street, my body tangled with pink metal.
 

The bike headed towards the sidewalk. Oh, my God! I'm going to crash into the curb! An even worse place to land would be the gutter. But, inches away from the curb, the bike turned itself. And, Thank you, God! began righting itself. 

Before I knew it, the bike had done a complete circle. I was back at the same position where I had begun. Without blinking, I pedaled forward, as if nothing happened.

A few houses away, I passed a young woman getting into her truck. She looked at me, smiling broadly, and said, "Good morning."

"Good morning," I chirped, wondering if she saw the whole thing and thought look at that old lady doing a neat stunt. Pedaling onward to my meeting downtown, I tugged at my sleeves to cover my hands.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Danger: Crazy Writer at Work

Sometimes, it feels like this when I'm working: Herding sheep (which are the words) into a pen.

The sheep, however, are not being nice about going into the pen. Sheep there. Sheep over there. And more sheep way, waaaaay over there. Then, of course, I must not forget the sheep that are hidden from view. Or, those sheep that have made their way to a meadow I had no idea existed. Where's Little Bo Peep when you need her? But, wait, she lost her sheep.

I wonder though if sheep is the best animal to stand for the words.

How about a horse? Gallop. Trot.  Nostrils flaring, head tossing back, foot stamping. Such attitude. Neighhhhhhhhhh.

Maybe the words are more like cattle or milking cows. Mooooooooooo.

Definitely not cats.

Be nice if the words were more like dogs. Woof-woof. Here I am. How ya doing?  I'll hang out with you. Can I do anything? You need a nuzzle. Give it a rest. Let's go for a walk.

Yeah.

Friday, April 26, 2013

War!

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December 7, 1941
Honolulu, Hawaii

Clip. Clip. Clip.

The Daddy's cousin was cutting Daddy's hair in their kitchen. They talked about this and that when suddenly they heard  in the near distance Boom! Boom! Boom!

"Hurry up," said the Daddy. "Something is happening at the harbor. Let's go see what's wrong."

December 8, 1941
Baguio, Philippines

At the same moment, thousands of miles to the east, the Japanese Navy Air pilots were bombarding the U.S. bases in the Philippines,  a U.S. territory. The Mama was staying in Baguio, a mountain town, where the John Hay Air Base was located. The town was immediately evacuated.

The Mama said it took her and her family about a month to walk their way down the mountain to their home in Pangasinan, a province in Central Luzon.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quitting Time

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Come August I shall be celebrating my 27th anniversary at my job. I doubt the Boss will give me a gift of money or even a lousy pen to show her appreciation. The Boss is cheap. Yeah, I said it. C-h-e-a-p. Cheap. But, then, you see, the Boss is me. 

Like everyone else, I've had quite a few jobs during my life. Some jobs were temporary. I liked those. I knew when the ending would be. No fuss, no muss.  As for the jobs from which I resigned, okay, quit, I had gone as far I wanted and needed to go with them.

Cutting apricots was my first paying job. It was also the first job I quit. I was nine years old.

The job entailed cutting apricots in half, pulling out the pits, and laying them on a wooden tray bigger than a kitchen table. When the tray was filled neatly with halved apricots, it was placed out in the sun for the fruit to dry. I think I got 75 cents a tray.  Yeah, I know, a pittance. This was the early 1960s.

I don't remember how many trays I was able to fill in a day, or even if I could fill one. Some kids worked together on a tray. I did feel kinda left out working alone. I  recall a couple of kids staring at me and talking about me and the way I was cutting the apricots but not in an admirably way. Hmmm, maybe they were jealous that I didn't have to share my earnings. Never thought of that.

After three days on the job, I got sick. Probably worked too long and hard, which I still do when I want to get something done and over with as soon as possible. When I was back to normal, the Mama and the Daddy told me that I did not have to go back unless I wanted to. I did not.

I wonder if the Older and Only Brother resented me for quitting the job. After all, he was the one who got me the job. Maybe I would've been better picking apricots with him. I know I would've liked it more. I envied him climbing up and down the ladder with his pail. It would definitely have been faster earning money.  I think he got 25 cents a bucket, or maybe it was 25 cents for filling a box. I probably would've gotten sick doing that job, too.

Anyway, being allowed to quit the job, set the pattern for me.  I learned that I could choose to say yes or no to being "cheap labor" for someone. Gosh, I hate that term with a passion. Several years ago, the Husband and I took an agricultural tour of our county. One of the stops was an apricot orchard where the Daddy used to work as a tree pruner. The daughter-in-law whined about the family's concern of not having enough "cheap labor" during harvest time. Seriously, how difficult would it be for her to say "temporary employees".  I instantly lost all respect for her, the family, and the business. To this day, I will not buy their products, I will not recommend them,  and I will spit out food if I happen to find out I'm eating their product at a function.

Okay, back from the digression.

Of all the jobs I've had, I have worked the longest for my current employer. And, I tell you, there have been days, weeks, and months where I've worked for far less than minimum wage. That's how much I like working for the Boss. And, I know she would not ever, ever, ever talk about me as being just "cheap labor".

Trays of apricots drying under the sun.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The "F" in Filipino

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The Mama and the Daddy immigrated to the United States from the Philippines, a country that is composed of more than 7,000 islands. So, it goes without saying (but I am anyway) that the archipelago has many distinct cultures that have their own languages.  Because of the islands position next to China and Southeast Asia, the islands were a stopping ground for traders, adventurers, and religious evangelists as they traveled east or west.

Until the Spanish arrived in the archipelago in the 16th century, the indigenous peoples did not have the consonant F in their languages. When the Spanish began colonizing the islands in 1565, they introduced the Latin script as way of converting the native people to Catholicism. Yep, the good old sword and the cross shtick.

One of the early Spanish explorers decided to name  Leyte and Samar Felipinas or Las islas Filipinas after their king,  Phillip II. Eventually, the Spanish people applied the name to the whole archipelago.

The Husband thinks the Spanish people were very cruel to give the islands a name that the indigenous people would have trouble saying. I have a feeling that may have been probably one of the less horrendous acts that the conquering Spanish  committed back then.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Digging

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A few months after the Daddy died, the Mama needed me to uncover the septic tanks in the back yard so that the service guys could come and clear them out. So, one weekend I drove down from San Francisco, where I lived at the time, to do her bidding. The Older and Only Brother lived a few minutes away from her, but she rarely bothered him with such tasks. "He's busy. He has to work on Saturdays. He has a family." 

The day of digging was the same day that the Mama went to Reno with the local Filipino club. Her friends had convinced her to go. It would be a good change for her, they told her. I was very relieved that she would not be home. Back then we were always on tense terms. And, if I was doing physical work, it was best to leave me alone.

There were two septic tanks in the Mama's backyard. I had no idea. I thought there was only one and I knew where it was. I dug out the tank just like that. 

The Mama had a hazy idea of where the second tank was. "Someplace by the bittermelon."

So I dug a hole in the vegetable garden. Nothing.

I tried another spot and dug. Nothing.

Ninong Danny, one of the godfathers of mine, dropped by, as I started a third hole. I hoped he would pick up a shovel and help me. Or, at least pretend to dig. Nope. He laughed at all the holes in the yard, watched me dig for a bit, then left. I head him laughing all the way to the garage.

With dumb luck I found the second septic tank on the fourth digging. Did I say it was a hot summer day? 

I covered all the holes just before the Mama returned home that evening.

She had won $300 at the slot machines. "I think your daddy was guiding me," she said. She gave me $20 and set aside $30 for the Older and Only Brother.

"Why does he get more?" I asked.

"He's a boy." The Mama said.

"I dug holes all afternoon looking for that damn second tank. He didn't do a thing."

But I knew she was not giving me money for doing the work. She was sharing her winnings with her children. 

The Mama is of a generation and a culture in which females are short changed a lot. That day many years ago, as usual, I felt slapped in the face for being a girl rather than a boy. 

Has the Mama's attitude changed over the years? Some. Maybe.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Love Story that (Thank Goodness!) was Not to Be

I am very fortunate that I have met not one, but two gentle men, both of whom I married. Of course, not at the same time. When I met the current husband,  I told him that I didn't date. I went on adventures, but not dates. I rarely dated before the first husband, so why begin then.

But, today is not a story of either husband. Instead, my ramble is about the man who would not be my husband. He was the first—and last—man that the Mama and the Daddy dared try to match me with. Yes, I know. So old country. At least, they did not attempt to do an arranged marriage for me. 

I was in my late 20s, an old age to still be unmarried, according to the old ways. I lived alone in San Francisco, over 100 miles from the parents, which were two other no-no's for young women.

The man in question had a name that some women would think romantic. I thought it was just sappy. Other women would've described him as very dreamy. I saw him as looking superficially slick. One who would have nothing to do with me in the old country, unless I happened to be rich. Yes, he was a young man from the old country. To protect the sappy, superficially slick man, I shall use a fictitious name to talk about him. Let's see. Hmmm, I shall call him Jacques Ash. (No, the parents did not immigrate from France.)

I first met Jacques Ash when I visited the parents on the Thanksgiving weekend. The Daddy was butchering a pig in the back yard, and Jacques Ash was there helping him. "Hello. Glad to meet you." That was the extent of our conversation.

A few weeks later, the parents, the brother and his wife, and Jacques Ash came up to San Francisco for a birthday party that a friend was giving me. Let's just say, I was very surprised. About Jacques Ash, that is. I also figured out what was going on. Gotta love the parents.

Because the brother wanted to wander around the science museum in Golden Gate Park, we all wandered with him. Jacques Ash walked beside me, but we barely spoke. I pretty much ignored him. He could work for my hand, if he really wanted it. He had already wooed the parents by painting the outside of their house for free.

At my birthday party, Jacques Ash sat silently. He didn't talk to my friends, unless they spoke to him. Then, it was time to go home. The parents decided to ride back to my apartment in the brother's car. I have to say the parents were so damn cute together. As, I started the car, Jacques Ash suddenly spoke. "Where is Sheila from? How long has she been married? What kind of work does she do? How long have you known her?"

Jacques Ash wanted to know everything about the friend who threw the party for me. What a Jacques Ash!

A few days later, Jacques Ash called me up for a date. Are you fucking kidding me?  I didn't say that. But, I did say something like this, "No, thank you. You can go find someone else for a green card."

"What?" I could tell he was taken aback.

"I know you're only interested in me so you can marry me and get a green card."

"I am not," he protested.

"Oh, yes, you are. We have nothing in common. You didn't even try to talk to me. You thought because I'm not pretty I would just accept you. Ha! The joke is on you."

"Your parents want us to get together," Jacques Ash said, quite forcefully. "I painted their house for you."

"My parents know I do what I want to do. Be with someone I want to be with. So, go find someone else for a green card." Then I did a classic Mama, and slammed the phone receiver down.

A couple hours later, the Daddy called.

"Jacques Ash is going to call you," Daddy said. To warn me, I liked to think; but, most like the man cried to the Daddy and asked him to smooth things over with me.

"He already called," I said, and then I told the Daddy everything I said to him.

The Daddy laughed. When he could talk again, he said, "Just be nice."

"He's the one that's not nice."

Daddy chuckled. "Be good," he said, and hung up the phone.

I still like to think that the parents (with their newly painted house) were proud of me for turning down a so-called dreamy looking man with a romantic name. I may have been single, old, and living on my own, but far from desperate for love or marriage.

Happy Valentine's Day, dear gentle readers.