Condescending twit

I couldn’t believe it. I mean the guy was so arrogant that I thought he was kidding. I had a message from Dave who said he got our name from our client, Bob. Bob and I have always gotten along great. I wrote some of his insurance recently for a second home he purchased late last year. His plan was to rent it out and stay in his current home.

I called Dave back, thinking he was a referral for insurance from Bob. Yay! Love that.

But, no. Not at all. He said he was the realtor for Bob’s property that was in escrow and about to close but the buyer’s insurance agent was having problems getting the insurance secure.

This surprised me as I wasn’t aware Bob was selling his house. I hadn’t had any problems with getting the coverage placed and couldn’t imagine why another agent would.

“Oh? Bob is selling his house?” I asked. A most valid question.

He sighs. “I really don’t have the time or the patience to repeat myself. What did I say that wasn’t very clear? If you can’t understand me, then I’m afraid it’s a waste of my time to deal with you.”


I stop. He can’t be serious, right?


“I beg your pardon,” I say. “I don’t think me asking to clarify what you are talking about is out of line…”

“If you can’t even understand one thing that I’m saying…”

“Yeah, well, you know what? I’m done here. Good luck with that property,” I say and hang-up. I would have said a bit more, but no matter how condescending this arrogant prick is, I am going to be professional. That doesn’t mean I roll over and let this dickless wonder be an asshole to me.

But what it does mean is I’m done talking to him.

I sit back and decide the best thing to do is call my client, Bob. He picks up the phone immediately.

“Susan!” he says. “How the hell are you? Wassup, girl?”

I laugh. “Hey Bob, I just got off the phone with Dave…”

“Oh God, what did he say?” he says, all very serious and concerned now.

“Ah! You know he’s an asshole then,” I say. Huge relief because I gotta tell you, anytime I’ve had an upset or disagreement in business, 99% of the time, it comes back that I’m overreacting, being too emotional, being a woman, and shit like that.

There have been times when I have grossly overreacted, did get emotional and even cried a few times. So I’ve learned to gather my thoughts, take a breath and communicate in an effective way without the hysterics.

It also helps that the client is cool and appreciates all the work I’ve done for him.

I tell him about the conversation and he’s furious at Dave. Apparently this is how Dave is and Bob has told him on a few occasions to tone it down.

“Well, Bob, my 2-cents is to get another realtor. God knows they are just like us insurance agents – on every street corner. You don’t need that crap in your life.”

“I’m so sorry, Susan. That was not cool and you don’t deserve that. I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me.”

That was nice. That made me feel better. Finally there was a man on my side. Finally there was someone who didn’t immediately judge that it was my fault because I’m packing a vagina.

“Bob, I’m a big girl. I’ve been in business a long time and I know that there are men like him who think they can talk to women like that. He just needs to grow up, come out of the 1950’s and take it like a man. Tell him to take a Midol, eat a pizza, watch some chick flicks with a heating pad and have some chocolate and wine.”

This caused both of us to laugh.

“My only concern is that the sale of your house goes well, so have the agent call me and let me help them with it. It ain’t no big deal,” I say.

And it isn’t.

“I’m going to call him and insist he apologize to you,” he said.

I almost cried because someone finally understood me.

I don’t know if he’ll ever call, but that’s OK. Dave can go on with his little life and prey on others that may not be able to stand up for themselves.

He picked the wrong #BadAss to mess with.


A rough but interesting week

I don’t know about you, but not only are my weeks long, but so are my days. Working for a startup isn’t easy. Obviously I have faith in the potential of the company and the people who work there and the products that we produce. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother.

I’m part time until we can get the business where it needs to be for me to be full-time.

But I need full-time work, so rather than call myself part-time, I consider myself semi-retired.

It has a nice ring and feel to it, don’t you think?

I spend 10 hours a day putting together seven hours of paid work. I have three part-time jobs to equal one full-time job and it’s still not enough. Some weekends, I Uber when I feel like it and am confident I can keep my snark to a minimum and enjoy the people.

Recently,  I jumped in and started telemarketing. The leads and names were just sitting there, gathering dust, so we put together a script and off I went. It’s been years since I’ve done cold calling. Things have really changed since the days of calling a phone (that was always a land line because cell phones didn’t exist) so I don’t expect people to answer. But when they do, there’s always a moment where I don’t know what to say.

I’m a telemarketer you want to talk to. But I know nobody wants to talk to me, any more than I want to talk to a stranger on the phone, so it’s a fun game. What I mean by that is I know I am sincere and I know how much we can help people, but I also understand they don’t want to talk to me and I don’t blame them.

The fun is seeing if I can get them to talk to me and if not, can, how quickly they curse at me and hang up.

I started doing it this last week. Some days were good and some days were horrible but what made it good was that I kept going.

I’ve learned that I am a very determined woman and I don’t like to quit. Learning at this age is just as difficult as it was at a much younger age. The trick is if you want to learn and or not.

Personally, my ideal job would be people throwing money at me just because I exist. But the last time I checked Craigslist, that wasn’t available.

The downside to what I do is because I now spend 95% of my week on the phones, I really don’t want to talk to anyone when I leave work. Thank God for texting!

It is a miracle to get me to answer the phone nowadays, as many of my friends can attest. But it’s not personal.

It’s that I just don’t want to talk to anybody when my day is done. I even added a reject text on my phone. It says “Please text me rather than call.”

It’s that I don’t want to talk anymore at the end of the day. I just want to sit quietly, watch Netflix, read and enjoy some peace and quiet until the next day starts again.

It’s not you. It’s me and I don’t want to talk to you.

Love you! Mean it! Have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.

Just don’t call.



Shit I’m glad I have

Every so often, I’ll try to do a gratitude log. I figure since it seems like such a popular thing that people do, I’ll give it a try. But it ends up being some sort of theetie-wheetie piece of bull shit. Like I’m writing down the things I’m supposed to be grateful for, such as family, friends, blah blah blah. If I have to actually write those things down in order to be grateful for them, then I’m doing something very wrong. Of COURSE I’m grateful for those people! No need to write them down and be redundant.

Plus it’s never in “my” voice. It’s always in some motivational guru’s voice, which annoys the shit out of me, so why am I writing this crap?

Well, I don’t. I re-read what I wrote and have no idea who just took over my mind, writing, and journal.

I went to do it again this morning after waking-up early and in the midst of a fit of terror. Yeah, as usual, waking-up is brutal for me. I’m at my most vulnerable – sleepy, in pain from my neck and back – and not in good fighting shape. That’s what my demons know and they lay in wait. Every morning we fight and every morning I win, but it’s a shitty way to start the day.

I decided to write what I wanted to write. I mean, I usually do, so why was I changing that? I dunno either.

Here a short list of the shit that I’m glad I have:

  1. Netflix. I mean, really, how could I possibly survive without it? It distracts me from all that I know is there, pinging my head constantly – bills coming in daily in my email and constant text messages from people who always want something from me – and Netflix only cares about what I want. It’s on my phone, my Kindle, my laptop. Netflix is always with me no matter where I go, always ready to entertain me and play with me. Unconditional love for me 24/7. It never closes. It never judges me. It tells me what it thinks I might enjoy watching because it cares about me more than anyone I ever dated. Netflix is relentless in its pursuit of MY happiness.  Yeah, super grateful for its existence.
  2. Cheap pens. I buy them all the time and sometimes they end up being the best pen I ever had. Then it runs out of ink and I can’t find any more, so that sort of sucks. Cheap pens come and go. Then I’m pissed and then I’m not because it was cheap and I don’t get all twitchy and weird when I finally admit to myself the pen it out of ink. I have to scribble with it a few times on paper, put it back in the drawer and then try again later. It usually takes me 5 tries before I concede that’s it dead. I always feel sad as I toss it into the garbage, like I’ve lost a friend. That’s why the funeral garbage toss takes me a while to let go and move on with my life.
  3. Used books. I love that they are broken in and someone loved and cared enough about the book to haul it around until they found a new home for it. That’s love and dedication right there. Paperbacks are the best. Sometimes you’ll find notes or highlighted passages, which I read immediately as they were obviously important enough for the previous reader to note them. I always wonder who that reader was and why is this important? Guess I’ll never know,
  4. B-1 Yes, the vitamin of the Gods. Why? Because it backs down my demons off enough that I can start to get back to more of my “You’re-not-playing-by-the-right-rules” person that I am. B-1 calms own my nervous and anxious or generally fucked up mind for a bit. It’s not a cure but it gives my mind and body a break from the demons. I’ll not tame my demons, but I can put them on a short leash and reign them in a bit. Similar to a “time out” for a child who won’t shut the fuck up and stop pulling the cat’s tail. On one particularly bad day, I popped 100 mg an hour, all day. No one died that day, I didn’t get arrested for assault and I slept. I consider that a good day.
  5. Stupid people. In small doses, they give me a most wonderful and desperately needed chuckle. In large doses, a gin and tonic helps, but that’s not always possible during the day. There’s nothing more fun than having a conversation with someone who is an absolute idiot and has no idea what they’re talking about, but they are certain beyond reproach they are right. No sense trying to discuss or argue with them. Just sip your coffee (or gin and tonic), smile as you glance at them over your glasses and politely nod and enjoy the cheap entertainment. They’ll appreciate your rapt attention to them and their insanity and you’ll be grateful you aren’t them. It’s a win-win situation and everyone goes home happy.
  6. Journals. This is a picture of the few I have gone through in the last few months.I have a box, or two or three, of my other ones. I buy cheap and expensive ones. I am addicted to them and it’s a great addiction because I HAVE TO WRITE IN THEM! I swear for every word I publish, there are 10,000 that will never see the light of day. I even have taken to digital journals that I can then print or save to gazzilion apps but…nothing replaces the beauty and isolation of pen to paper, the sound the pen or pencil makes, the feel of turning the page and smoothing it down. A blank page in a journal is an adventure to me. A blank page on a computer is death to me.

These are just a few things I’m glad are on this planet and in my life.

What are some of yours?

The Pastor and his wife



I was tired after driving all weekend. I had one more fare to do before collecting a nice bonus from Uber. That’s my game on the weekends – make the bonus and ease up my finances for the day.

It was Sunday afternoon and I had been at it since 10:00 that morning. Just one more fare and I’d be done for the day and week.

It was 3:00 and I was praying to the Uber God’s to send me…just…one…more and then BAM! There it was. I drove over and couldn’t find him. The app is pretty amazing but this time, it said “Pick up Tomaga” as I got closer.

Pick him/her up where, exactly? Right here in the middle of the busy street? Normally it will say on the left or the right, but not this time. So I drove into one parking lot, looking for someone who was looking for me.

No luck.

So I crossed the busy street and did the same thing.

Still no luck, so back to the first parking lot. I pull over and call him. He’s across the street IN FRONT OF TARGET! How could the app not know this?


I pull over and it’s a couple. With suitcases, so we’re probably going to an airport and I cross my fingers and hope it’s San Jose.

Nope. Wrong again.

It’s San Francisco.

An hour away.

I smile and tell them it’s no problem. I load up their suitcases and off we go. I ask them where they are flying to. They tell me back home to Norway.

“Oh, were you out here for fun or business?”

“Both,” he says. “We were at a convention all week.”

“Oh? What kind of convention that would also be business and fun?” I ask as I merge onto the freeway.

He hesitates and smiles. “Ummm….it was a Christian convention….”

“Tell me more,” I say. I want to hear it.

We end up talking the entire time about their work in Norway and all around the world. It was fascinating and the more we talked, the less tired I feel. He tells me he is a pastor and teaches. I ask if they have any literature I could see and they leave me a brochure.

I talk to them about how I wanted to get back into my human rights work and was feeling a bit overwhelmed about it.

He leans over from the back seat and pats me on the shoulder. “You’re an evangelist. You speak and listen from your heart. You are one of the few people with a voice.”

I feel myself nod and smile. Suddenly I have an enormous amount of energy and gratitude. I don’t always understand why things are the way they are, but I know enough that sometimes you just have to walk a path and let the universe help you.

I dropped them off amongst many hugs and cars zipping by. For that moment that I said good-bye to them, I felt as if I had had a quick brush with long time friends that I hoped I would see again.

The organization they work with is called “Transform Our World.” I don’t know much about them but here’s their website: Transform Our World

If you’d like to explore having this much fun with Uber, I’ll help you. There are so many people you’ll meet that you never would have had a chance to. I know I’m helping people and even after a long day, I come home happy and satisfied that I helped a bunch of people. Use my promo code it you sign up and would like some help: SUSANL12997UE.

Or use someone else’s – it’s all good.

Uber Doober

I sometimes get asked questions about what it’s like to be an Uber driver. Just casual conversations and I’ve shared a few funny stories on Facebook.  They were well received as they were charming or funny and I just wanted to share a tidbit at the time.

One was about an elderly couple from India that I picked-up. We chatted for the few miles towards their destination. They were loaded down with gifts and flowers for their grandchildren and were an absolute delight.

The problem was, they had put in the wrong address so when I pulled up to let them out, shock and despair ensued. I got it all sorted out by having them call the daughter and getting the right address. The funny part was when the man kept trying to give me credit cards to pay for the ride. Adorable! I assured him it was all taken care of and then made him promise me 3 times to NEVER, EVER TO THAT AGAIN!

Fun stories are to be had as a ride-share driver. This is not something you can take very seriously and if you don’t like people, never do ride-share.

I pulled up to a location today – you just follow the app- and the guy wasn’t there. I was smack in the middle of a parking lot of a large apartment complex, so it didn’t quite make sense that he would have requested the ride from this spot. I waited and after 3 minutes, the app asks if I want to cancel for a “no-show.” I can and get paid a few bucks, so instead I called him. He wanted me to drive somewhere else, WHICH MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE!

I ask him where he is and he starts to give me a long winded description. I realize not only do I have NO idea where he is, I don’t know where I am. I circle around, looking for him and I’m about the cancel the fare when I see a man walking along the sidewalk, on his phone.

I stop and roll down my window.

“Hey!” I shout.

He stops and looks over at me.

“You looking for Uber?” I ask, just a bit annoyed.

“Yes. Are you Susan?”

“Ya think?” I say. He gets into the car and I verify his name before I start the trip.

I don’t pull away just yet. I put the car in park and turn around and look at him.

“Hey, Charlie, did you know that Uber drivers aren’t mind readers? Did you know that the app has us go to the EXACT spot you requested the ride and if you aren’t standing there, WE DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?”

I smile, he smiles and hangs his head. “Yes, ma’am,” he says as we pull away.

You never know who’s getting into your car and believe it or not, we don’t know what your destination is. All we know is someone is requesting a ride and we either accept it or reject it. Once the ride has started – after their butts are firmly planted in the car with their seat belts on after they have confirmed their name – do we then start the trip. That’s when we know we’re they are headed.

It’s hard work at times, but I like the fact that I can hit the road anytime I want and meet people. Each and every fare has been fine. No horror stories – but then again, I don’t drive at night, so no “drunk runs” – and in a very odd way, it tends to restore my faith in mankind.

I’ve met struggling immigrants with Master degrees that can no longer find work due to the recent political climate. I’ve met people who don’t speak English yet communicated perfectly with their smiles and hand shakes. I’ve given rides to sick and elderly people whom I was either picking-up from a health care facility or dropping them off. I gave a ride to a couple to a hospital so they could visit with their terminally ill daughter. Yesterday I picked-up a blind woman who didn’t speak English and was using her walker. Her son had ordered the ride and called as I was approaching the dialysis clinic. Even though she was gravely ill, blind and unable to walk, she was the sweetest human being and so grateful for the ride.

I was grateful for the opportunity to not only meet her, I was happy to be able to spend a small portion of my afternoon making sure she got home safely.

I made a friend with a man who is hysterically funny and got me to give him the name of this blog. He pulled it up on his phone, started reading it out loud and laughed and cried at all the right places. We text and keep trying to meet up for bingo, which is where I first dropped him off on a Tuesday afternoon. I still want to join him, but since then, I’ve picked up more jobs and no longer have Tuesday afternoon’s available.

I’ve learned that rich people don’t tip and those with little, do tip well. I had one fare that took over 2.5 hours to arrive at his destination in bumper-to-bumper traffic through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate bridge. That’s one long and difficult drive anytime, but even more so in commuter traffic. His house was a mansion on the San Francisco Bay and the entire time he was in my car, he was on his phone and laptop. Nice enough man, but not even $1.00 tip. Yet the young woman that I picked-up and drove for 30 minutes to a not-so-great neighborhood, tipped me $3.00. And she was unemployed.

What does it mean?

Nothing, really. Just that you never know about people and they can surprise you at any moment. That everyone is struggling and that being decent and kind is a choice and has nothing to do with anything other than yourself and who you really are.

I slept 10 hours last night and got up this morning and drove again. I have 3 jobs during the week and ride-share all weekend. I’m tired but happy. I got to meet some really nice and funny people this weekend. People that I never would have met otherwise.

If you are ever interested in driving for Uber, use this promo code and I’ll gladly help you as much as I can. It’s: SUSANL1299ue. Passive income is a beautiful thang.


When did it become OK to yell and scream at people?


Seriously. I am asking a sincere question because I must have missed the memo that everyone else got that said:

“You have every right to yell, scream and insult anyone at anytime for any reason.”

I know it’s been a few years since I’ve been in the unbuffered zone of dealing with the pubic. Up until last year, they had to first go through some hoops before landing on my lines. By then they were ready to go and I almost never had a problem with anyone. In fact, it’s rare that anyone really annoys me in business.

Well, that was true up until this last year. That’s when I started two new jobs, without a buffer.


I mean it. Just answering the phone “Good morning. ABC company. How can I…”


“Excuse me? What?”


“But you called us. Just give me your phone number and I’ll…”


OK, so how am I supposed to delete a number if they don’t tell me?

Or how about the guy that won’t let me finish explaining his bill before he goes off on a tangent?

“OK, sir, I didn’t send you the bill. If you’ll just calmly tell me what happened…”



My favorite was the guy that walked into the office and demanded I help him. OK…no problem….but when I explained to him that he wasn’t our client, he blew a gasket.


I waited for him to stop talking and went over it, again, who he needed to call to report a claim. He didn’t understand so I (stupidly) found the number, got them on the line, explained it to them and handed him the phone.

Good Samaritan, right? I figured he was just confused and I’d help him on his way.

Well, two days later, he’s calling the office. I’m not there because my car is in the shop, so the calls are being forwarded to my cell.

I’m all about customer service until you’re a dick. Then all bets are off.

Not only was he pissed that I wasn’t there, he put his daughter on the phone. She proceeded to threaten me and said she was going to report me. (Keep in mind, these aren’t our clients). I told her that was a great idea and to have a nice day.

My hands were shaking when I hung-up and it took me hours to calm down. I do not like being threatened, especially when I’ve done nothing wrong AND tried to help someone.

Then, HE COMES INTO THE OFFICE A WEEK LATER! He acts like nothing is wrong. Eff’n passive-aggressive asshole had met his match.

“Yes?” I ask as sweetly as possible.

“I need help with my claim and…”

“No. Sorry. Call them directly. From your home. With your daughter.”

“But you need…”

“Again, no. Let me go over this, one more time. It’s like you’re a client of Avis Car Rentals and you’ve just walked into Enterprise Rent-a-Car, all pissed off at Avis. Talk to Avis and deal with them.”

He looks at me. “Oh, you’re not my agent.”

“Nope,” I say and get up and walk him to the door. “Don’t come back,” I say and close the door behind him.

Now I know that you’ll always run into a few people who are cranky and rude. That’s life, right?

But when did “a few people” turn into most of them?

When did this change and when did it become acceptable to treat people badly?

I have  a sneaking suspicion I am not cut out for this anymore. The one today was just someone who had a confusion on his bill. Every time I tried to explain it, his voice would rise. He didn’t like the idea that because he bounced a check to the insurance company, they were cancelling his coverage.

I just got quiet and stopped talking and let him yell.

When he was done, I didn’t say anything until he asked if I was still there.

“Yes,” I said.


“As I was saying…”


“Because you’re yelling…”


“Call this 800 number and talk to them. I’m done here.”

Of course he called back 5 minutes later.

God I love called ID. I just let it ring and ring. He, naturally, didn’t leave a message.

If at any point, anyone tells me that it’s my job to be yelled at, that’s the moment I quit.

No amount of money is worth rolling over for it.

That ain’t gonna happen.

I have the right to speak and not listen to your bull shit.


The price I paid for not being PC (Politically Correct).

Now PC is a completely arbitrary term. It’s definition is solely dependent on opinion.

I don’t pay much attention to opinions, other than my own. They are what they are and have as much weight and value that you choose to give them. There are very few opinions of others that I care much about. A few, but not many. Maybe 3 if I cared to add them up.

I had the very unfortunate experience of posting something on Facebook that was not only not appreciated by some of my  real life friends, but also gave them license (or so they thought) to then come onto my post and correct me. When that didn’t work, the condescension started. You know, when people explain slowly and patiently to you that you don’t understand and your thinking is wrong? It’s like porn – you know it when you see/hear it. It has its own icky wavelength.

It was a simple post and I made that egregious (apparently) error of posting something from….dare I say it……..the Democrats! Oh horror! Oh the horrible and misguided error of my ways!

And not only was it from a Democrat but….(gulp)…it was from The First Lady! Well….shame on me…..

Now even though I stated very clearly that I was posting this because of her speech against the recent vulgar and lewd comments  about women, and not a political statement, that was not enough. Oh no it was not. In fact, the point and purpose of the post was not relevant. It didn’t matter why I had posted it. I had crossed some sort of line with some friends and it was their duty to troll me and make sure I towed the party line.

Independent thought I guess is a bad thing. Being bipartisan is bad. I am bad. I am wrong and I need to understand this.

The fact that I posted it because it was a beautiful, strong and eloquent speech ABOUT DISRESPECTING WOMEN AND NOT POLITICAL wasn’t enough to absolve me of the error of my ways. Things have gotten so bad that speaking up for 51% of the population is something that needs to be silenced and stopped.

But they made a couple of fatal errors themselves:

1) They pissed of a writer.
2) They tried to tell a writer what she should and shouldn’t post.
3) They don’t read my writing and have no clue about the work I’ve done for women’s issues.
4) They pissed ME off.
5) They thought I would go quietly into the night.

Are they out of their fucking minds?

I guess so.

So I did what I usually do – blocked a raging lunatic, stood my ground and kept repeating my point and waited.

I deleted the comments (all of them, including mine) because it had gotten so ugly that I didn’t want my name associated with any of it. I kept the post up, gave a warning and waited.

The sheep ran away, just as I thought.

So just in case it’s not clear to anyone, let me state this as clearly as I can:


There. I said it. No one will ever have greater importance to me than myself.

No one tells me what to think or how to think.

No one has the authority or power over my self-determinism, thoughts, ideas, creativity, pursuit of happiness, or my mind. No one.

I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I will clarify. I will discuss. I will listen.

But I will not be bullied, harassed, spoken badly to, disrespected, or talked down to.

If that means I toss everyone out of my life to have peace of mind, fine by me. I won’t think twice about it.

Until we can understand each other, appreciate each other and trust each other, there will never be peace on earth.

Now to piss of even more people, here is the speech that caused so many people such anguish and horror. (Yes, I’m happy to do it again).

And before you listen to it, let me remind you that what she is saying is what we women have to deal with every single day of our lives. She is speaking for women and if anyone has a problem with that, then they have a problem with me and should just move along and stay away from me.

Michelle Obama’s powerful speech


Annnnnnnd….another reason to have a pit bull.


This is Blue. As some of you know, he’s my big goofy dog who I rescued a few years back. I’ve written quite a bit about him and pit bulls elsewhere, but for those that don’t know that,  I’ve made it very clear that I am much more dangerous than him. Yes, I know all the hype and bull shit written about them, but there are many reasons to own one of the sweetest and goofiest dogs in the world.

This story is about another reason that happened today on our walk. It goes like this:

I am accustomed to people suddenly changing their direction when they see us coming. From stepping off the sidewalk to bolting across the street and almost getting hit by cars.

This amuses me. I’ve even had a family stop walking and yank their toddler back when they saw us 20 feet away. I heard her say to the child “That’s a very dangerous dog! Stay away from them!” as the child squealed when she saw us and wanted to pet him. Blue jerked his head up, his tail began wagging because he LOVES children! When he sees them, his nature is to go over to them and hug them.

When I walk Blue, I am aware of everything and everyone around us. There are also tons of people who love pit bulls and go out of their way to tell me and ask to pet and hug him.

Blue was not socialized as a pup and because of that, he doesn’t always know how to behave. This makes him rude to other dogs because he wants to give them a big hug and that can come across as being aggressive. In fact it’s more like your drunken favorite uncle who is so thrilled to see you at Christmas, that before you know it, he’s got you in a bear hug and smothering you with kisses with his claims of undying love and missing you so much.

Rude but well-intended.

Blue is high-strung and fearful at times. He has no “off” switch, so my job is to keep him calm and confident and make sure he doesn’t “go there” and get too excited. I constantly watch his level of excitement and pull him out of, or away from, any situation or person that gets him too excited..

I keep him calm  by my words, my body posture and my tone of voice. I NEVER do anything to get him riled up. No tug-of-war games. No squeaky toys. No high-pitched tone of voice.

Well, no high-pitched tone of voice until today.

Today that changed when the asshole walking towards us decided I needed to move out-of-the-way and not him. Who fully expected me to step into the bushes so he could also have MY side of the sidewalk to pass by. The prick that felt it was his right to physically push me out-of-the-way if I didn’t move.

The problem was, I had no place to move to. I kept to my side of the sidewalk, with plenty of room for he and his buddy to pass by. I had reigned Blue in to be as close to my right side (away from everyone else) and he and his buddy had plenty of room to walk by.

But, no, not this guy. No way he was going to do that. He looked right at me as he was walking and didn’t veer to his right. He fully expected me to back my ass into the bushes to let him pass by.

I don’t think so.

I stopped and stared at him. Blue is learning to sit the moment I stop and he did. This guy was so intent on pushing me out-of-the-way, he didn’t see Blue. He stared back at me and it was like a game of chicken, only he was moving and I was the brick wall he was about to slam into.

He walked right up to me and was just about to push me with his shoulder, so I moved a foot to the left. This made him stop. He looked incredulously at me.

He stopped and glared as his friend kept walking.

It was the Bay of Pigs in Sunnyvale.

He wasn’t going to move and I had nowhere to move to.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I looked down at Blue and said in the highest, most squeaky voice I could muster “YOU ARE THE BEST BOY EVER! YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD BOY!”

Suddenly Blue is jumping and barking and now wants to jump on the guy and say hello.

The guy freaks out, jumps back and…..trips! Landed flat on his ass! I could not have hoped for anything better.

I chuckle, pull Blue close to me and step over the guy as I say “Don’t you ever get in my way again,” and walked away.

Best. Moment. Ever.


I hate doing “Morning Pages.” Guess I should do some more.

For those that don’t know what “Morning Pages” are, here’s a link: It’s from the book “The Artist’s Way” written my Julia Cameron and it’s a great book and program. I know it’s helped me as a writer over the years.

But I dread doing them because I. Am. Not. A. Morning. Person. The part where she says to get up a half-hour earlier in the morning to do them….well, I laughed my ass off on that. That will never happen. I can barely form a sentence for the first half-hour of rising, even with the first cup of coffee down my throat.

I got it done and I’ll do it again because I’ve found that the shit you hate doing is exactly what you should be doing.

As Buddha is attributed for saying (It’s on the internet, so it must be true) to a novice who wasn’t able to meditate for 15 minutes: “If you can’t meditate for 15 minutes, the way to overcome that is to meditate for an hour.”

Shit. He’s right.

Being mistaken for a bag lady.


It all started out so innocently.

I came down with a bad cold. A really bad cold, but couldn’t afford to miss work, so I loaded up on the cold meds. The daytime meds so I wouldn’t be groggy but be able to suppress my cough enough that I wasn’t coughing on the patients in the clinic and not have to have Kleenex jammed up my nose because it was running so bad.

I made it through the day and when I drove up my street, I saw everyone had their garbage cans out for pick-up the next morning.

That made me want to cry. That meant I had to put the cans out, deal with the God damned recycling (otherwise I am harming all of mankind if I don’t recycle) and clean up the yard that night. I still had work to do for my other job and I was starting to sound like a frog with laryngitis.

I blew it off. I was too sick and too tired to deal with it, so I figured I would do it first thing in the morning. I would have time, right?

By the time I crawled into bed, it was late. The heat was triggering my hot flashes, so I put the fan on high, took off all my clothes and  loaded up on nighttime cold meds. My roommate wasn’t going to be home that night, so I was safe. Safe from him having to come into my bedroom to use the bathroom and not screaming at what was lying on the bed. A clogged-up, naked, snoring woman who was drenched in sweat, with her hair matted to her forehead and who no longer gave a fuck about life for the night. He owes me.

The next morning, the garbage trucks wake me up. I push myself up. I feel swollen, like a plumb trapped in a grape. I stagger to the bathroom, trying to remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing and then I remember.


For some reason, this is crucial. Blame the meds or blame my warped sense of priorities, but this shit was vital!

I grab a t-shirt and find a pair of shorts in the hamper. I get the garbage from under the sink. I grab the recycling bag and it spills. I’m now drenched in spaghetti sauce BECAUSE INSTEAD OF PUTTING THE BOTTLE BACK IN THE FRIG, I PUT IT IN THE RECYCLING BAG!

I have no idea why I did that.

I open the front door and Blue, my dog, goes charging out and bumps me. I drop the bags and they spill on me. So not only do I have spaghetti sauce down the front of me, I now have coffee grounds running down my leg.

But I’ve got to get to the cans and move them out to the street.

I put on a pair of flip flops that I keep by the door for this reason. I’m prefer to be barefoot, but if I need to go outside, there they are. Brilliant.

I put the garbage in the can and hurry out to the curb. One of the flip flops breaks, so I leave it behind me. I’m on a mission and sometimes there is collateral  damage.

I made the first target. One canister done and another one to go. Woo hoo! I put the bag down for the recycling. I’ve got to go back and grab that canister.

I can do this!

I hear the trucks approaching. I run to the next canister. I pray no one sees me.

I get to the canister and haul it to the street. I run over my broken flip flop. It looked so sad but I don’t care. The truck is next door, quickly approaching.

I push it to the curb. I open the one side and dump everything in and then I see it.


I start having a coughing fit. I dig into one side of it. Half my body is immersed in it and it tips over. I fall with it just as the truck pulls up.

He stops and looks at me. There I am, rolling around in the garbage with food all over me, one flip flop on, hair all over the place and what looks like dirt up and down my legs.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, he says “Hey, you OK? You know there’s a shelter down the street where you can get some food. No reason for you to eat garbage…”

Lord have mercy, why did I have to run into a kind soul right at that moment?

I nod, thank him and get up. I start to explain, but there’s no point. I quickly put the plastic where it should go and the paper in its bin. I say nothing and he just sits in his truck, staring at me. I brush myself off and walk back to the house. I pick up the flip flop and carry it back inside with me.

Blue acts as if I’ve been gone for a week and starts licking the coffee grounds off my leg. I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry, so I take a long hot shower instead.

I blame the cold meds.