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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Wet Morning After

The day has come and gone.  The holiday weekend is over.  Again.  We took Mason for a long walk after we returned home late from a birthday bash last night.  Our walk, and our condominium, is surrounded by a giant cemetery.  The workers began trimming a few weeks ago -- mowing, planing flowers, trimming around gravestones.  I mean, hey, it's gotta be pretty for Memorial Day....right?  A few days before the weekend, the flowers began to show up.  And Saturday through Monday was a steady stream of cars and people -- opening up the backs of their SUVs or trunks of the cars and taking out flowers, flags, bows, ribbons, decorations.  Quite a few of the graves have American flags on them.  Some flowers are straight out of people's yards while others have that tell-all sign of pretty paper wrapped around them. 

We enjoyed a rain-free day yesterday and actually quite a few sun breaks.  I only mention that because it's rare in the spring here.  It was a very nice day for folks to be out -- remembering, thinking, and contemplating.  The sun had set when we walked Mason last evening.  Along the side of the cemetery.  I always glance in.  On every walk.  I look at dates, names, the bits and bobs of wording that people choose to engrave on the stones.  And, no surprise to many, I think and wonder who these people were.  Why some graves have flowers and some do not.  What life was like for each of these people.  I'm just that way.  The cemetery was quite at 9pm last night.  The coming and going had stopped.  The extra gates and entryways all closed up for the weekend except for the main entry.  Things were quiet.   Peaceful.  A bit sad.  I saw a few flags still trying to wave in the night breeze -- the dusk casting across them hiding the red, white and blue colors. 

Wet.  This morning is wet.  Again.  The regularly scheduled cemetery workers are back.  Normal.  I guess it may be 8am-5pm sort of thing.  The flags are hanging down with the dampness of the rain.  The flowers are still pretty against the spring-green shades of the acres of grass.  Things are back to normal.  Average.  There's got to be a wet morning after. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Wriggle to Create Heat

Just when you think you've seen or heard it all......I was working the "C" position this morning from Portland to Orange County.  "C" position is the back galley.  On a Boeing 737-700 aircraft.  A had seen a large group in the boarding area...maybe 20 or so teenagers with obligatory adults along to tame the errant young tendencies.  So the first guy on board is wearing a green Portland Timbers t-shirt and heads to the back galley.  Seemed like a nice enough guy, friendly, chatty.  And he says to me....."Hey, my wife is going to kill me....she said for me not to come back here and ask you this but I told her I was going to do it anyway......is there any chance you'd go up and warm up my seat for me before I sit down?"  I told him to just let his wife watch this.....I marched my tender, yet silly, little early morning self up to his row, asked him which seat was his and sat down in it.  I wriggled around a little....."to create friction and heat," I told him.  His wife was looking at me like I was about as far out of my ever lovin' mind as one mildly delusional flight attendant could possibly get.  He sort of liked it.  "Yeah, like that.....okay, that's good," he says.  And I got up and left.  His wife staring.  He and I giggling.  In my 16 years....that's a first. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The End of May

  • Glee.....I could have done without it.  More and more throughout the season, I am less enamored with the little kiddie Glee clan.  Some of the scenes are so contrived and don't seem real with little rich, pretentious white kids performing them. 
  • My sister is coming to Portland for Pride.  It will be her first ever Pride.  She's going to help us out in our company's booth at the festival and march in the parade with us!  I'm wondering if it will be wet or dry. 
  • We're going camping for one night with some friends way out East of Portland in the Columbia River Gorge.  Out where it is sunny and dry.  (Portland averages 37.5 inches of rain per year.....The Dalles receives only 14.5 inches.....)
  • I have been able to assist in the training class of brand new flight attendants.  Our first new FAs in three years.  
  • I am finalizing plans to attend Bear Week in Provincetown in July.  
  • I have a friend who performed CPR on an 83-year-old man on one of our flights the other night.  The flight diverted to an alternate airport.  The man passed away.  
  • We have friends moving into our building today.  They have had their eye on one of the last units remaining to be sold in our condo building.  Today, it becomes theirs!
  • Clear, concise communication is hard to come by.  
  • Two gay men were beaten up while holding hands in downtown Portland.  Amazing, considering that it happened here.  Except for the fact that Portland pretty much welcomes all sorts of folks -- and this is the byproduct. 
  • We are struggling to get more than one single day of sunshine so far this season.  Keep your fingers crossed.  We did finally break 70 degrees. 
  • The cemetery next to our condo is getting all primped and trimmed for Memorial Day. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

San Diego Zoo....Mixed Emotions

Yesterday, I visited the San Diego Zoo for the first time since 1968.  Wow.  That's been a while.  I was on a longer layover with my hubby and a good friend so we decided to really make a day of it.  Did you know that Diet Cokes actually cost $5 at the Zoo?  I thought it was for a six-pack, not a single drink.  Silly me.  But in spite of having a great sun-filled day, I left with mixed emotions.  I know that being the animal activist that I've migrate toward in my old age, I should not have paid the money to visit this zoo nor any other one.  I know that placing animals in captivity should not be supported.  I know that paying giant amounts of money for t-shirts and sodas at the zoo is just plain old not right. 

The zoo had a sign with a picture of each animals on the front of each exhibit (or listen to me...calling it an "exhibit" when it was nothing more than a cage for confinement....).  The little signs were all the same.  And they each rated the animals on whether they were endangered or not.  Many were.  In addition, I noticed heavy advertising, signs, pictures and public relations crap that were intended to tease me into thinking that the Zoo is a "green" place for animals -- that they are doing everything possible to make sure that the animals are well taken care of, tended to, needs dealt with, etc.  But, as with all of these sorts of things, I immediately questioned the Zoo's intentions.  I think that any business who is going out of their way to advertise to me what a good, green, earth-friendly, animal-caring place they are probably isn't such a place at all. 

I stood in front of the elephant exhibit watching two elephants swaying back and forth.  Each of these two were by themselves -- not with each other nor with the rest of the heard.  And swaying.  Back and forth.  Left and right, right and left....for as long as we were there.  And I said to my Zoo partners that I'll bet that the swaying is a byproduct of them being in captivity.  Yes sir, it is.  Check it out.  In addition, I didn't see a whole lot of animal caretakers around.  I did see a few.  Very few.  For the most part, "people" were absent from the scene -- unless it was to sell expensive food, treats, t-shirts, kettle corn and the like. 

Probably the highlight of the day was at the Hippopotamus pool.  Momma and 15-day-old baby!  Amazing...and right straight in front of us on the opposite side of the glass.  Apparently, they are not natural-born swimmers because momma was teaching the baby how to swim....herding the baby around the pool and nosing it up to the surface for air.  Something like this......it was really, really something else.

I know that in many cases, the animals are actually more well off in the zoo than in their natural habitat due to poaching and other unnatural happenings.  But in spite of it all, I've been thinking a lot about the fabrication of real life at the zoo.  It left me a little bittersweet.  For the lack of natural, free-roaming territory to enjoy. The captivity issue.  The children running and yelling and creating stressful situations for the animals -- there were actually signs on many of the cages warning us to not yell or not harass the animals....that it stresses them and makes them nervous.  I just felt sorry for them.  There's got to be a better way to educate our children, our world, than peddling expensive novelty items in gift shops and charging $5 for ice cream and locking up animals in cages.  It didn't feel natural at all. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tax Deductions II

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I struggle with families having far too many children, using far too many of our world's resources, contributing too much to noise pollution, putting too many disposable diapers in the landfills of the world -- all while I'm paying for their Mommy and Daddy to actually receive tax deductions that I pay for.  I'm a big fan of actually charging parents to have children after a certain number in order to pay for all that those particular families remove from this earth.  And it is quite clear that those of us who are single, or have chosen to not have children for whatever reason, are left to pay for those who have more children than they need.  Enough....read this article if you want more of my obnoxious, soapbox opinions. 

Most of this nation's school systems are in big financial trouble.  They are not properly funded.  They are mediocre at best.  They are overburdened with the aforementioned "too many" children from families who are not able to financially contribute their part to keep the whole thing going.  It's a total mess.  And not a new problem.  What I get upset with is that we.....governments from national down to city.....continue to try and figure out new ways to simply gain more money......and rarely do the unthinkable....cut spending, cut poor teachers, cut cut cut.  I mean seriously, if my personal home budget isn't working, I have to cut spending or raise extra cash.    We are interested in just tossing money at projects, schools, and budget shortfalls each few years....wishing, hoping, dreaming that it will get better.  Wise up!  It won't.  The simplistic, unrealistic, thinking that money will solve problems is unwise.  And that goes for this schooling issue or any other one.  I'm all about fixing problems, the root of the problem, and moving on.  I'm about removing poor performers, dead weight, bad people and projects that require too much money.  We are always focused on money money money.  And not on education, education, education. 

A few years ago my Multnomah County voted in a "temporary" three-year property tax to "help save the schools."  $300 per year from me for three years in a row.  Remember, I do not have children.  $900 total for the temporary three-year deal.  Guess what....it didn't fix the trouble.  Two days ago, the fine folks of my city voted in another property tax hike to keep the schools going.  Averages are guessed at $400 per year per household increase in property taxes.  Remember, I do not have children.  So, simply because I'm a homeowner, I have to pay up.  Weird.  Just doesn't make sense.  Meanwhile, the procreators who have chosen to not use condoms and now have four, five, six or more children in school actually receive a deduction from their annual taxes.  Humm.  Sumthin' just doesn't add up.  We're out of balance.  I'm not happy.  Nor should I be.  It won't fix the problem.  We will be trying this again in a few years...more money more money more money.

I'm tired of tax deductions being paid for by folks like me.  I believe in those who use services, systems, or resources actually being the ones who pay for the products.  Am I asking too much?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Springtime Favorites

Some days I think I'm an old soul.  I just took the "Old Soul Test" and scored 85%.  I love the past.  I enjoy history.  I like the in's and out's of families.  I like how things came to be.   I enjoy people's stories and ventures.  I like considering life, the world, the sky, trees, breezes, animals and how it all fits together.  Or doesn't.  For example, I see flowers and am quickly reminded of my past.  Where a particular type of flower grew, or whose garden it was in, or the smell of it, or the time of year that it bloomed.  I think of porches with pillars.  Or lemonade.  Or the heavy scent of fresh grass after a cool night.  It is at this time of year, May, when I have a long list of favorites.  Memorial Day was always a time to gather flowers from our yard, put them in a dinged-up old galvanized bucket and take them from grave to grave at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.  These are my Top 4 Most Favorite flowers.  I do have many others but these are my most favorite:

DOGWOOD -- We did not have these in Boise growing up but I do have them in Portland now.  They are in full bloom right now in all shades of pinks, reds, whites, creams....amazing.  I love how their trunks are so dark black and the blooms stand out nicely against the trunks. 

IRIS -- For some reason, we sometimes called these "Flags" -- I think because Memorial Day stood also for flags on the many graves at the cemetery.  These have such a gentle, sweet scent to them.  And they are so pretty and unusual. 
LILAC -- Oh boy, these always grab my attention...over and over.  The giant variety of colors.  From whites to pinks and differing shades of purple.  And so so so so sweet.  The giant bushes of lilacs remind me of grandma for some reason. 
PEONY -- Delicate and complicated.  Like me.  So heavy are the buds that they fall over sometimes from their long stems.  There's nothing like a vaseful of Peonies. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hating the Haters...Am I One of Them ??

Have I become one of them?  A hater?  It has crossed my mind more than once in my life.  As I've struggled to figure out how this big, giant cold world operates.  What's what.  Who's who.  What I believe.  And what I don't.  Who is for me.  Who is against me.  Who are my honest-to-goodness friends.  And who are not.  If you don't remember, I was born and raised in the church.  Large.  Evangelical.  Praise music.  Jesus is the only way.  There is no other.  I've been a youth leader, choir director, singer, speaker, errand-running boy, the whole lot.  And I traveled off and on for twelve years with a traveling Christian singing group bringing people to Jesus via music.  A lot has changed in my life since then.  And some things have not changed.  I have spent quite a number of years now without the contact of my former church friends -- the majority of whom will have nothing to do with me because of my "lifestyle choice" as they say.  But a few have dared venture back into my life.  You see, years ago, there would be no blending of right-wing evangelical Christian church and the gays.  Nope.  Not.  Ever.  Today is a bit different, perhaps.

I have a dear, longtime friend....a beautiful Christian woman friend who is quite an amazing individual.  I've liked her since day one.  We are friends on Facebook, and I'm glad we are.  She recently posted a disturbing video about a school in Kabul who is teaching horrible lessons to their boys.  About hating the United States.  About how the US is wrong and horrible and terrible and that they should have nothing to do with us.  And that they should fight us.  It's a less-than-pleasant video to watch.  So, I commented below the video:  "...And yet once more I am reminded of how hate and prejudice is actually taught....not inborn. I'm thinking of how I was raised to not like Russians (Communists) in the Cold War era...they were scary people! And how I was taught that Mormons were to be kept at a distance. And that Catholics were not actually Christians. And how Canadians were socialist liberals and we certainly didn't want any part of that. Nor the gays....because they were just "that way." And the list goes on and on. I do my best to keep an open mind and heart...."  I wasn't excusing what they are teaching in the school.  Not at all.  I think it's horrible and 100% wrong to teach hatred and twist the hearts and minds of the young in our world.  Her response comment was:  "...Just don't hate the haters -- or you become the same thing. ♥"  

We have a beautiful young niece who we love dearly.  She is on our hearts and minds on many days.  And she loves us.  And we love her.  She accepts us for who we are.  And we accept her for who she is.  We always have a great time together.  We have chatted for all of her growing up years that one day she will discover that she has two uncles that live together and that, well, they must be more than uncles.  That day has come and gone.  Nothing has changed.  And it won't until she is taught (remember the video..the teaching) otherwise.  Until a Sunday School teacher or pastor or friend tells her otherwise.  Until someone opens up a Bible and erroneously tries to point fingers that really have no business pointing.  Thankfully, I've got a bit more belief in her tender heart than to think that she will ever turn her back on us.  In fact, I think that we'll be pretty tight with her for a very long time to come.   

Am I the same thing as the haters?  Like I said earlier, it has occurred to me that those who hate the haters are still, well, haters.  And then there is the difference between hating who people are versus what people do.  Believe me, I know all about being hated for who I am.  The tough part for me regarding the video is that these boys are actually, formally, being taught to hate.  It is not who they are to begin with.  It is who they will become because of the twisted teaching of hate.  Now, I don't hate them, or their teacher.  But I do hate what they are teaching and doing....the way they are taking tender minds and using them for bad.  And this conversation could very easily venture right on into mainstream Christianity in the United States today and how it is violently uncomfortable with what they have termed the gay agenda.  Oh, they say they don't hate me, us.  I'm all-too-familiar with phrases like "Love the sinner but hate the sin."  Hogwash.  For years now, that phrase has just made it more tolerable and palatable to enjoy the agenda of separation that the church has put in place between itself and the outside world.  The church, nearly any church, has never been good at bridging the gap in a flawless, easy path between itself and anything going on outside its four walls -- yoga, gays, unmarried couples, single mothers with children, Eastern religions, Tibetan prayer flags, meditation, smoking, drinking, those who do not believe in Christianity.  

But do I hate them?  I don't think I'd call it hate.   But now that I'm thinking about it, there are a few things that I do, perhaps, hate:  hypocrisy, focusing on issues outside the church than inside its four walls, teaching children that being Catholic or Mormon is going to take them to hell, telling children that their gay aunts or uncles are living in sin and that they are going to hell, pretending to like someone all the while having ulterior motives to change them, using fear-based videos and books to show people that the way another nation or religious system believes is wrong....those are things I hate.  Among others. 

So, I guess I am a hater after all.  So, yeah, go ahead and call me a hater.  I guess I am one. And apparently no better than them. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Depth of Human Interaction

Do you remember Lila from the movie Latter Days?  She was the gracious restaurant owner played by Jacqueline Bisset.  If you haven't seen the movie, you should.  But the movie isn't what I'm here to chat you up about today.  It goes beyond the actress, the role, the part she played.  It is her spirit.  The energy she exhibited.  The heart she showed.  How she opened up herself, her business, her life.  To help the boys, others, and to make people feel good.  She believed in something more, something positive, something even, perhaps, ethereal.

I think I'm drawn to that type of person because I wish I were more that way.  I try to be, believe me.  But I don't always succeed.  Occasionally, gasp, I lose my way.  I have this feeling that I will be working on it for the remainder of my life.  I'm such a hard old crusty bastard sometimes.   I don't think it's one of those things that will ever be fully achieved.  But continually focused on for reminding myself of who I am and who I am not.  It keeps me humble and god knows I could use a little of that.

My friend Rhonda is that way.  A devoted, devout positive person.  She cares for others.  Honestly, deep down, from the core of her being.  You feel good being around her.  Being a flight attendant brings about those opportunities to fly with a variety of people.  Some you get to know and fly with frequently.  Others are more flash-in-the-pan sort of folks...you fly with them once and may never again.  And some you never, ever want to fly with again.  Today, I had an unexpected surprise to meet Jan.  From our Los Angeles base.  Jan had that big smile on her face from the moment I went down the jetway and entered the airplane.  She was right on it.  No drama, no negative, no ill habits, no hating of the company, no doom and gloom.  She had shed it all for today, at least.  She opened up her arms and gave me a hug.  Now, remember, I had never seen her until that moment in time.  Even if I'd wanted to, I couldn't have a bad attitude being around Jan.  She was one of those deep souls.  Not superficial.  And I can spot surface, shallow BS a mile away.  She had clearly experienced in her life things that created her.  She had struggled and hurt and recreated her life in a way that helped make her who she is today.  We chatted about marriage, past lives, our mutual time together in Boise (we actually lived in the very same apartment complex back in Idaho in the early '90s....).  She laid out her life out for me to see.  She was diving deep.  I had to practice those skills that go deep, far beyond the borders of being nice because I'm a flight attendant.  You just never know what any particular day is going to bring you. 

I'm convinced that as much as people irritate me many times that I actually need these irritants to make me, remind me!, who I am.  Who I am not.  And who I need to be.  Life is so short.  And much of it is shallow.  But today, I got a little depth.  A little soul, and human culture.  And I'm thankful.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Poor Little Victim

Ahh, poor thing.  Sweet poor little victim.  Sniff, sniff.  

It will come as no surprise to you that I'm not a huge fan of victims nor the mentality that comes with them.  I believe that our world has ended up where it is today in part due to that precise thing....the Victim Mentality.  I mean, hey, if you're all about feeling sorry for yourself and want to be miserable, feel free.  But if you're into getting ahold of yourself, changing the way you're living, and actually have the desire to lead a different life, then I'd suggest that you check out this little list of helpful ideas.  And don't bore me with little sob stories meant to capture the moment of how you are right and the rest of the world is wrong.  I can assure you that I won't buy it. 

I flew with a guy today who sort of made me nauseated.  Nice guy for the most part.  Big giant biceps.  Nothing special, just a nice guy who was a victim.  He's got some growing up to do.  He went on an on about how "one of the customer service agents in Ontario made him get an eye infection."  He blathered on about how "the company is in such a big hurry that he wiped his hand on the girt bar and reached up to scratch his eye."  That gave him an eye infection.  He told me about how everybody is in a hurry and he didn't have time to think about it before he actually did it.  He was apparently pushed to the limit to hurry and, by god, he won't be doing it again.  Harumph! 

Well, you know me, I just couldn't let it go.  I told him that of course the girt bar is dirty.  Along with every other surface in the entire world and especially the airplane world.  I don't think that it's any more infected than, say, the bathroom doorknobs or faucet handles or tray tables.  I told him that I learned long ago to not bring my hands toward my face at any time, for any reason, period.  Hands do not belong near the eyes, mouth or nose.  My point was that it had nothing to do with the girt bar.  It had everything to do with his hands scratching his eyes.  He wouldn't buy it.  He got pretty quiet after that. 

Our world is in trouble kids.  A lot of it.  And I honestly believe that a good chunk of it is because of this line of thinking.  The mental game that we play of blaming others, finding situations that will give us reason to behave the way we do.  Pointing to parents, or churches, or organizations, or families, or alcohol, or drugs, or cigarettes, or our children, or a hospital, or or or or or or......to make us more satisfied with the victim that lives inside.  I'm sick of it.  And I hope you are too.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Listening Skills

"Do you think you're a good listener?"  He asked me as we drove down Fremont Street in Northeast Portland on our way home.  My hand resting on his leg.  You know, whenever someone asks you that question you known full well that they aren't asking you because they think you are the most amazing, top notch listener in the entire world.  My hand left his leg and migrated right back over to my own lap. 

Now, I'm pretty much a straight forward sort of guy.  My yes's mean that.  And my no's mean that.  I know my faults.  I'm not in denial over much.  My initial answer to his question was "No" but I discovered that wasn't quite right.  Actually, more honestly, I'm a good listener.  I hear you.  I even understand you most of the time.  My problem is patience.  I have little.  So, while I'm hearing you, I'm speeding up whatever you're saying to me in my own head.  I'm trying to get to the end.  I want the facts.  Just the facts, Maam.  My issue is that I want to fast forward your belabored little story, get to the end, and on to something else exciting.  One of my many faults.  There are others, I assure you.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

USS Midway

We have two of them this month.  Two San Diego overnights with each other.  We've been trying for several months to get them.  But with our quite average flight attendant seniority here in Portland, we have failed until now -- and I can't wait until we bring in more senior crew to Portland.  For crying out loud, we'll be even worse off than we are now.  But this month, we held two.  The trips are one flight down in the morning, all day in San Diego, spend the night, and then one single flight home the following morning.  I've had plenty of SAN layovers but hubby has not.  I've been anxious to explore the city with him. 

So yesterday we landed (after an inflight medical emergency....ugh....), changed our clothes as quickly as we could and headed out.  We ventured down to San Diego's picture-perfect waterfront.  Past the world's oldest active sailing ship the Star of India and down to the USS Midway.  I knew we wanted to go but I had no idea how amazing our afternoon would be.  I also had no idea how my little bouts with claustrophobia would be tested.  We spent our entire time watching our heads and feet.  The ship is filled with 60 self-guided audio points of interest.  Plus, the flight deck filled with 27 restored aircraft.  And then there's a separate tour of The Island -- the little piece of the ship that sticks up above the flight deck and houses the chart room, the ship's Bridge, and the aircraft navigation areas.  WAY up above the ship and water down below.  We checked out the ship's brig -- for those bad boy sailors.  The mess halls, the officers quarters, the sick bay complete with operating rooms and dental facilities, the laundry rooms, the bomb elevators, and the chapel.  I swear, I'll bet there was a serious need for the chaplain on the ship.  With the teeny-tiny quarters and no place to escape or relax.  I couldn't imagine being under the deck of this monster for more than a very short time.  I mean, seriously, this isn't a cruise ship.  In fact, life under the flight deck was the safest place to be.  You didn't have any reason to come above deck unless you were part of the flight team.  The flight deck is dangerous -- you cuold be chopped into pieces by a propeller, blown overboard by jet blast or a wind gust, burned in a fire, or hit by an aircraft trying to land or depart.  The ship was the largest in the world when it was built in 1942.  968 feet long. 

And I thought of my dad.  And my father in law.  Both Navy men.  I recounted the many, many stories that they've both told me throughout the years.  I remember the story from my father in law about a Japanese kamikaze pilot flying straight into the deck of his ship in the Pacific Ocean.  And I remember my own father telling about the food on ship, bunks so close that he couldn't even turn over without his shoulders hitting the bunk above him, about holding on to pipes while he showered to avoid being thrown around.  And I remember him returning home from his Naval Reserve duties -- and unpacking his sea bag full of dirty clothes and always a treat of some sort for us kiddies.  Today, I have one of his original pea coats -- one that he wore while on duty as a Signalman Second Class on some ship, somewhere.  I stared and looked and thought yesterday.  I saw the uniforms on display and remember him proudly wearing the blues and whites.  And the hats.  And the polished shoes.  He loved his Navy time.  He was proud.  He was friendly.  He did the job he was supposed to. 

So, that was our first San Diego trip together.  Oh, one more cool surprise -- we did get to see the #74, the USS John C. Stennis departing the port too.  She is one of the Navy's newer models of aircraft carriers.   And we also got to enjoy dinner at one of Little Italy's best -- Filippi's Italian Food.  And today we're sporting little sunburns on our pale faces and necks.  What a day.  I think we're going to the San Diego Zoo or Sea World next time. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Best Part of Waking Up.....

"The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup......"  For some reason, I remember my mother-in-law when I hear this.  She apparently heard me singing it early in our years together -- and always, always reminded me of it.  She would sing it to me after that.  Remind me of it. Fa la la la.  I do like to sing.  Songs and commercials and such.  And some very, very old.  Like yesterday I was singing Charlie Rich's When We Get Behind Closed Door and Helen Reddy's Angie Baby.  Don't ask.....

It is no secret that we live in one of the most well-known coffee drinking parts of the nation.  We have coffee stands everywhere, every corner, every grocery store.  And we do like our coffee in home.  But we waste it.  You see, many days one of us gets up at 4am.  The other one, perhaps, not until later.  The coffee just isn't good after sitting on the burner that long.  Or we brew a whole pot and then decided to go out to breakfast -- one of our many my bads.  So, the coffee brewed at home gets poured down the drain.  We've tried making less.  Partial pots.  But after all these years, I still find myself pouring out more of the delicious expensive elixir than I'd like to. And every time I do, I simply HAVE to make a comment about our waste and how much money we spend a month on coffee. 

You see, we have tried Folgers and Maxwell House.  And I can sort of deal with it...it's fine but nothing special.  So, we try to grab the more expensive kinds when they are on sale -- Starbucks, Tullys, Seattle's Best.  And now we've discovered a lovely 24 ounce package at Cost Plus for $8.79 which is a great deal for some pretty darned good coffee.  So, that's what we've been doing lately....Cost Plus.  But, still, it's expensive.  I figure we spend between $20-$30 a month on coffee.  And that's way too much to be pouring it down the drain.  If I were my mother, I'd pour the leftover coffee into a big bowl or glass jar or pitcher to reheat in the microwave the next day.  But that simply won't work for my prissy gay self.