New Alexa Feature: Wake the Dead

•November 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I got Alexa when Amazon first put her on the market, and I’ve watched her grow and develop new features. I never knew Alexa could wake the dead until yesterday morning. She really can do anything.

Let me give you some background on this one.

The husband goes fishing every now and then. Alas, he leaves at a gawdawful hour of the morning. Three o’clock should only come once a day, IMHO, and that’s PM. But this time he was going to the beach, and I do so love to see the sunrise at the beach. So I decided to go.

Of course, that’s much too early to feed our dogs and cats before we leave.

So around 11:00am I remember to call The Dude (no longer “the boy”, as he will be 20 in January). No answer. Three times, I get voicemail. The Dude is asleep.

“What can I do,” I ask myself. Then I’m struck with the most mischievous idea. And it just might work!!

I pull up my Amazon music through the Alexa app, and remotely start playing “Sister Mary Elephant”, by Cheech and Chong… at full volume. Now, for those of you too young to know this reference, here’s a sample:

I watched the track go by on my phone and let it go just long enough, then I stopped it. I gave The Dude a call. LO! HE WAS ALIVE!! And I was much amused at his adrenaline rush and confusion.

Yes, I have my evil moments.

Yes, that was one of many.

Yes, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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Father’s Day

•June 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

To all the good fathers out there, I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I hope today was a good day for you.

:: sigh ::

It took years of therapy, a good conversation with my sister today, and still, I have a hard time writing that opening sentence.

I hope you didn’t have to deal with a dysfunctional family when you were growing up. I doubt anyone has the traditional “nuclear family”, but surely, there is some example of normal out there somewhere. I hope you had it in your childhood. I figure, if you did, you probably enjoy things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

My sister and I, we didn’t. We like to believe that the crazy environment we grew up in made us the strong people we are today. It’s true. If you survive something like that, you are stronger.

But you remember your parents. Days like Mother’s Day. may be easier to handle if you are a mother. You strive to be a better parent, and you love your children. I can handle Mother’s Day.

Still, I hate Father’s Day.

He was never around. Or, if he was, he was so drunk he wasn’t present. He never made the effort to be a part of our lives. What kind of father was that? Please….

I’ve always had this mental block on Father’s Day. I just don’t remember when it’s coming around. Unfortunately, this means I need to set a reminder now…. My husband adopted my kid, and my husband isn’t such a bad guy. I have to make myself say the words now…

Happy …

:: closes eyes and swallows ::

Father’s Day.

:: deep breath ::

Gods above, can’t I call it something else????

Are we doing this again?

•June 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I remember, as a young child, feeling very put out because I couldn’t watch my after school specials in the afternoon. I was quite upset. You see, my Gran was keeping up with something far more important. President Nixon was drowning in the Watergate scandal and the Senate Intelligence Committee was thoroughly investigating the issue.

Gran watched daily to see testimony and to find out what else the President was lying about. The rest is history, as we all know.

At the time, I didn’t understand. I found it boring. I much preferred watching sci-fi movies about alien invasions and Godzilla.

This morning, I’m watching Former Director of the FBI, James Comey, give the long awaited testimony regarding the Russia investigation, his conversations with President Trump, and how things were handled.

I don’t know if this will answer questions or just create more. But I do know there will be more to come. That’s how these things work.

And now, I do understand why my Gran watched so closely back in 1973. It’s just the need to know the truth, regardless of what side of the political fence you’re on. If you don’t support the current Administration, you watch because, hopefully, this is the beginning of the end. If you do support them, you watch because you know your candidate is right and there’s nothing to fear from the investigation.

Regardless, we’re all watching.

Stolen Hope

•February 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

This one is dedicated to one too young to have left us. I’m also dedicating it to her family, and anyone else out there who either suffers from depression or knows someone who suffers from depression.

fog_of_depression

Life is so fresh
And we try to seize every day
But some of us just can’t.
Sometimes it’s just overwhelming.
We’re lost in this … fog and we can’t get through.
We don’t see that pit we’re about to fall into,
Where we tumble into the oh-so-familiar abyss.

But we see a light up there.
We climb out … once more into the fog.
We try again.

stumbled-into-the-pit

 

Some of us just get tired of trying.
Some kind of thief steals our hope and we no longer see the light.
Everyone has their own thief.
You’ll meet him if you ever fall so far into the abyss

rock-bottom

You truly hit bottom.
He gets in your head in that dark place and finds a way
To steal that last bit of hope,
Leaving you no strength to climb out again.
All you have are your choices – the rest of your life at rock bottom,
Or some method your thief left behind to end the pain.
If you’re lucky, you remembered you brought your phone with you.
Most of the time, people don’t remember.

The younger you are, the more vulnerable you feel.
You may have turned your phone off.

Baby girl, you were so young.
I can’t ask you why you never talked. I’ve been there.
I can’t ask the gods “why”, either.
The gods died last night when they let this happen.

national_suicide-300x225

We Marched!

•January 30, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Last week, on January 21st, over 50,000 women, men, and children, gathered in Austin, TX to march for their human rights. It was a beautiful day in Austin. It was HOT, but that didn’t stop any of us.

Just to get a perspective of the crowd, here’s a few people at the Texas Capitol building:

at-the-capitol

This was my first march, and it won’t be my last. I found it … inspirational. Joyous. I reveled in the togetherness of the crowd. And I finally felt like I’d taken a step towards doing something and making a stand!

When I got back home last week, I wrote a poem, as I’m prone to do…

Cities, worldwide, took one day to come together
One day to make a stand

One day…
To march

In a world of division
Over 50,000 people gathered that Saturday
In Austin, TX
Women, men, children…
Ages, races, religions, genders
People from all walks of life
All came together with one purpose…
To march

We all had so many causes to march for:
Women’s Rights
Healthcare
Planned Parenthood
Roe v. Wade

Just to name a few…

Someone asked me why I wanted to march…
Why on earth wouldn’t I?

This is why I march.
I march for you, little sister!
I don’t know if it’s your choice, but you HAVE that choice
and no Politician
or Preacher in his pocket
should ever take it away from you.

I march for you…
Too traumatized to speak of what happened.
You shouldn’t be punished
by being forced to carry
one more reminder
for nine months.
Sister … it wasn’t your fault.

I march for the parents
Who found out in those last few weeks
something went terribly wrong!
They should not be forced into someone else’s decision.
They, too, have a choice!

We march for all of us!
We march for our rights!

And those who marched with me cried
TELL ME WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!

WE are what democracy looks like.

(Original work, written 1/23/2017. Do not distribute without permission or credit to the author [me])

womens-march-austin

 

Today is the big day

•January 20, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Today is the big day. I leave this morning for Austin, TX, to take part in my first protest march tomorrow.

Yes, I’m 50 years old and I’ve never done this before. I’ve bitched, I’ve ranted, I’ve donated, But I’ve never stood up with anyone for a cause I believed in so passionately. Tomorrow, with my best friend and so many other women, I will do just that.

Today, many Americans will see a dangerous narcissist sworn into office. A bully. A bad example for our children. Someone who has disparaged and insulted minorities, the disabled, and women.

Someone who has already begun to strip away our rights, bit by bit.

Someone who wants to take us back to those “good old days”, when women stayed home and everyone “knew their place” in society.

We stand tomorrow. We’re having a peaceful protest tomorrow in Austin. We march for our rights… for your rights.

WE MARCH!!

womens-march-atx

 

Happy Holidays (ugh…)

•December 25, 2016 • 1 Comment

It’s Christmas day, and the first day of Hanukkah. I wish you all a very happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate. Me? I’ve given it the effort this season, but I just haven’t felt it. I really tried. But with every exuberant “Merry Christmas” I heard from complete strangers as I went about my day, it only served to remind me of my lack of holiday spirit and how very-not-merry I was.

grinch

You could say I sound like a grinch. Perhaps I do, but I can’t help it. This entire year has completely sucked, not just for me but for so many people I know. That, combined with political bullshit I refuse to go into because we’ve all been dealing with it on one side of the fence or another, but suffice to say, the current political climate in society is a ticking time bomb, IMHO.

You can only be so torn up and worn down before you can’t celebrate… By the time 12/24 got here and the tree still wasn’t up, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. We’re going to celebrate the new year, instead.

And, as I type my entry, I’m still getting greetings of “Merry Christmas”. :: sigh ::

Is just me? Or did anyone else notice there were a metric ton of “Merry Christmas” wishes this year. I especially noticed it, not because of my lack of holiday spirit, but because Hanukkah started at the same time. It seems like this year, more than any other year, we should acknowledge other beliefs. But, really, I’m not even Jewish. It shouldn’t matter to me one way or another, right?

My best friend just called me to wish me a Merry Christmas (again, while I’m writing my blog post). I laughed and replied, “Hail Satan.” At least she had a good laugh, too. 🙂