The Mask

Many days the Daily Prompt doesn’t inspire me and I’m not one to talk (or write) when I have nothing to say. But today’s prompt, mask, brings up a fond memory; watching the movie, The Mask, on a flight home from India.

I was traveling with a woman who went to the Dera ( a sort of ashram) every year and ‘knew the ropes’. She was a very serious, ‘spiritual’ person and I got on her nerves a lot, joking around and being myself. Once we arrived at our destination in the Punjab we didn’t have to see each other much but we had return tickets together.

I’m sure she was hoping a month of study and meditation would change me but it only made me more sure that being myself the way to be, warts and all. No false mask of piety here.

So we are sitting on a flight from New Delhi to London, it’s a very long flight and we’re crammed together.  The flight movie was ‘The Mask‘ with Jim Carey.  I had not seen it before and took the headphones. My companion looked at me like I was crazy. I looked back at her like “What?”  She pursed her lips: apparently a Jim Carey film would be too frivolous and silly.  Well, I had just spent a month with a whole bunch of people wearing their ‘pious masks’ and really craved silly.

I also had never watched a movie with headphones and didn’t realize how hard I was laughing. She tapped me on the shoulder and said I was laughing too loud. I did my very best to stifle it after that but it was hard! That movie is funny and all the pent-up hilarity was bursting out. Every once and while I’d get an elbow jab and I could feel her giving me dirty looks.  Oh, did I test her ‘spirituality’!

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mask/

 

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Two, two, two Prompts in One!

What a big disappointment that today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is ‘ta’ .

The word, “ta,” is British slang for thank you: use it this way, or find any other word that starts with those two letters. Enjoy!

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People who say ‘ta’ for ‘thank you’ bug the hell out of me. It’s OK if they are actually from Britain or Australia and use that terms all the time out of habit, but those who just visited Britain or for any other reason decide to use ‘ta’ for ‘thank you’ makes my lip curl. I won’t Enjoy! it, I won’t!

‘Ta-ta’ for ‘good-bye’ or ‘ta-tas’ for breasts don’t bother me at all. Just don’t say ‘ta’ for thank you, thank you.

But that’s not what disappointed me. I could not come up with a ‘ta…’word for what I want to rant about: people who come into the grocery store minutes before closing and want to be served. Not running to pick a couple of things up of the shelves; coming in and wanting meat or bread sliced when the machines and equipment are already cleaned. Or standing in front of my cake display wondering what they want out of the freezer while I’m trying to get the floors mopped before closing.

I saw the young couple walk down at 8:55 while I’m mopping furiously. They stop in front of the cupcake display. NO!  Please, no!  The cupcakes are display; we have them on trays in a rack at the back of the freezer. The freezer lights are off and being special lights for freezers, they don’t just switch on again.

Ignoring them didn’t make them go away so I break off mopping and go ask if they want anything. I’m really struggling with being polite. They want two cupcakes. First I have to get the container, then go into the dark freezer, literally get on my knees and pull out trays trying to find the right cupcakes. I’m swearing profusely because they can’t see me.  Then I had to get codes for each kind of cupcake and make a label for cash.

I’m left with minutes to finish the floor and take the bucket back to other end of the store empty it. I did a crappy job and that bugs me.

The manager had to stand at the front doors to keep customers from coming in and let out those of us lucky enough to finish. There were still customers at the deli when I finally closed the bakery. I felt so bad for the two guys there. We are tired, people, and want to go home. The cashiers are waiting for you so they can cash out.

How inconsiderate, how uncaring some people are.

That’s what I wanted to say.

Locked Out

Finally, I can get my income tax statement done today. Yesterday I received my secret code to get back into ‘My Account’ at the Canada Revenue Agency.  They had locked me out last week when I tried unsuccessfully to get into ‘My Account’ too many times.

It all started back about 3 weeks ago. Income tax is a good time for me because I get a return. However, procrastination is my middle name. Then I caught a cold and got pink-eye which went into my ear.  I spent a couple of days lying on paper towel, feeling miserable, not able to think clearly.

When my eyes cleared up I got my T-slips in order and sat down to ‘do my taxes’. I have the same program and My Account has been good for about 5 years, its been easy-peasy every year.

This year it wouldn’t make a new file for 2015 so I went to CRA to see if I could find out why. It seems I needed a new program so I went to My Account to download it. It said My Account had expired and I needed my SIN and last years tax statement. I’ve always done it on-line. The return on my computer didn’t have the “Line 101” they were after. I had all the numbers but didn’t know the specific number they wanted.

My head was still not clear from all the mucus so I would go through my files and piles then say ‘F*#k it, I’ll try again tomorrow.’  I’ll go through everything again because there has to be some piece of paper somewhere with a damn ‘Line 101’ on it. Everyday I would try to sign in again to download a new program…. hoping it would just let me in.

By the end of the week I had gone through every file and box of papers I could find but no ‘Line 101’.  Only ‘Line 150’ so I took a chance, I entered ‘zero’. That’s when they locked me out.  I had to phone CRA, sit on hold and wait to talk to a person. She said My Account should not have expired. (TEE HEE!) and said she would send me a special code to open it up again…. that’s sent by post, not e-mail.

Yesterday I got the code…… today I do my taxes…… Knock on Wood!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/locked/

Don’t Remind Me

On my days off I like to see what the Daily Prompt’s one-word inspiration is and try to relate it to my blog’s theme…. being sixty (63), single, living on a shoestring, working part-time in a grocery-store bakery.

Today’s prompt is closet.  Bummer …. I’m trying to be inspired here! Instead I get pricked by a thorn reminding me of that little cubicle of hidden mess that I should clean out. There are shoes in there I haven’t worn for a long time. They could making space for the everyday shoes that are strewn around my front and back door.

On the top shelf there is a giant suitcase once owned by my ex’s father. That’s all …just the one suitcase.  I acquired it when I left him and my home about 8 years ago. He told me to “pack my bags and get out” so I did. He let me use the suitcase.

Most of the clothing in there is stuff I never wear but don’t want to throw out. If I was ruthless I could probably get rid of 75% of it. But I’m not. I go through things and save them thinking ‘I’ll wear that again’. I should take down that damn suitcase and fill it full of clothes and shoes for Value Village.

Last week I drove home from work in a snow storm. Today is going to be hot and sunny; summer time temperatures and I have the day off! There is every season’s footwear kicking around now….. winter boots, rain boots, hiking boots, various sneakers for different uses…. it would be a great time to organize this closet.

Damn you, Prompt, why did you have to remind me about that closet?

 

 

 

Learn to Say “No!”

Today’s   Saturday Stream of Consciousness  prompt is ‘no’.

I didn’t learn to say ‘no’ until I was 40 years old. That’s way too late. That was forty years of doing what I was told or what would make somebody else happy. Making myself happy would be selfish: good girls make other people happy. Saying ‘no’ to someone, especially someone ‘in authority’, would be brash and unladylike.

It was a volunteer counselor at a women’s shelter in a small town that first told me I could say no. We explored the roots of how I got that way. ……

Long story short (because I just found out my sister and grandnephew are coming for lunch.)

I learned to say “No!” firmly, brashly, uncaringly  ( Ok, those words don’t exist but I don’t care)  looking after my own interest. (But in a nice way, of course)

It feels great! I like to sing it down my hallway where it can reveberate, “Nooooo!”

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Bedtime Procrastination

Just as I ease into my mornings slowly, so do I wind down to a long  bedtime . I suffer from bedtime procrastination. I start telling myself to go to bed around 11:30 which starts by turning on the electric blanket. My bedroom stays cold all day so it’s more efficient to just warm the bed at night. Getting into a warm bed is so wonderful I wonder why it takes me so long to get there.

Around 10:00 I start to nod off watching TV.  I know once I go horizontal its game over, I’m falling asleep, but I love the sensual pleasure of lying down and stretching out wrapped in fuzzy microfiber.  I like shows I can listen to and don’t have to watch so I can turn over onto my other side.  The Daily Show is perfect , I need only to turn over occasionally to see some graphics of the story, but I rarely stay awake for it all. Or I’ll put on a show I don’t care about, like Castle because I don’t care how it ends if I fall asleep.

When I was married I had someone to yell at me, “Wake up and go to bed!” but now I just sleep.  I have to set up my coffee for the morning, floss and brush, and get my ice water for the bedside which seems like a lot to do when I’m in repose. I’ll think “I should get up and go to bed” before I fall asleep. Somewhere in there, I ‘turn on my bed.’

This may sound slovenly to some ‘A’ types but I do it because I can. I love it because I was married to someone who hated leisure; it made him mad. Now I’m 63, living alone and I can do whatever I want.  (within financial boundaries). Sometimes I lay on couch in the afternoon!  That would have driven him into a rage! (which really happened, twice) How dare I! Now, the sun shines in the afternoon right on my default position…… lying on the couch. Heavenly!

I love it. I revel in it….. just as I love waking up without an alarm and slowly easing into my morning with the internet. E-mails, news, Facebook and  Wordpress, if I’m not working.

This is the part of getting old and living alone that I like…. doing whatever I want and not giving two hoots (or even one) about what anyone thinks. I work, do Zumba, go for hikes……. I earn that couch time!

Bedtime is whatever time I go to bed.

 

 

 

Knock on Wood

Today’s one word prompt is;  superstition.  Even though there are a lot of personal and emotional things I’d love to pour out, I’ll take the shallow, easy path of superficial flotsam about my views on superstition.

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I think of myself as ‘too smart’ for superstition. I thumb my nose walking under a ladder, as long as there isn’t someone on it. I’ll let a black cat run in front of me without fear. Sometimes I would step on a crack but only if it was too awkward to break my stride. Now that my mother has passed away I don’t have to worry about her breaking her back.

But Knocking on Wood; that’s a small glitch in my intellect that I cannot shake. If I say something along the lines of “That will never happen!” I feel the pressing need to knock on wood.

In my 63 years I have found that you can never say never. Things you expect to happen, don’t.  Things you say will never happen, do.

So it’s important to knock on wood.  Actually,  I wasn’t sure why so I went to Wikipedia. I guess it depends on what’s deep in my DNA.

“In  Serbia and Croatia there is the habit of knocking on wood when saying something positive or affirmative about someone or something and not wanting that to change.”

“In Spain tocar madera” (literally: to touch wood) is something that you say when you want your luck or a good situation to continue”

“In Egypt Emsek El Khashab إمسك الخشب” (Hold the wood),  people say it when mention good luck that you have had in the past or when you mention hopes you have for the future. The expression is usually used in the hope that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged.”

Apparently, the spirits in the trees will hear you if you knock.  I knew it was something to do with earth spirits but sometimes you are in an environment where you are hard pressed to find wood. Many times I have knocked on gummed up press-board or even paper and not felt safe enough.

There’s nothing like the feel of real wood under your knuckle to ward off those mischievous spirits.

Wikipedia states, also, that you only have to say ‘knock on wood’ to protect yourself. I’ll keep that in mind. Next time I will visualize an ancient oak, deep in Fairy woods.

“So listen up, buster and listen up good:

  stop wishin’ for bad luck and knockin’ on wood!”   …… John Prine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocking_on_wood

Consumer Street

There are no stores on the street where I live. The occasional car or delivery truck drives by every few minutes in the winter.  Today is very quiet as winter made a comeback, dumped a load of wet snow and blew some chilling temperatures on us. Those who can are hunkering down for better weather. No one is driving down to walk on the beach.

Often I complain that there are no stores around here and I have to drive far away to get things. But with the stores comes the people.

In start contrast, last March Break I ended up on one of the busiest streets in London (Ontario, Canada) at The Mall. It was a Friday at dinner time. There were so many cars and people, mostly teenagers, it was insane. My mom would have called it “a mob scene”.

My mind was blown with sensory overload in a very small store filled with glittery things for young girls, tweens and teenagers; earrings, tiaras, phone and pad covers, hair pieces, purses and much, much more. There were signs all over, “Buy two things and get a third one free!”

The store was packed with girls trying to find that third thing when they could hardly find a second thing to go along with the thing they didn’t really want in the first place but it was cheap.  All this crap soon to become garbage.

I found it very disturbing. Our consumerism is choking the life out of this planet and yet we are seduced to buy more and more because it “drives our economy”.

Recently there was article in the London Free Press happily announcing that $77 million dollars are being pumped into this same mall to entice people to shop more.

Hardy said retailers such as Zara and H&M will bring in younger women who enjoy shopping as recreation in an upscale atmosphere.

“You can’t make shopping a chore,” he said. “It has to be a pleasure.”

“Higher fashion demands a better ambiance than the basement of Sears, so I can see them putting in the money to glam it up,” he said.

I’ve heard this term before, “shopping as recreation”. Many women love to shop even when they have heaps of clothes already. They feel comfortable that their cast-offs can be given away to “the poor”. Some of it gets re-sold at Value Village or GoodWill  but tons and tons of it gets shipped overseas to be ripped up for recycling by women living in poverty: abject poverty…. not just shopping at Value Village or Sear’s Basement poor.

There is getting to be a bigger and bigger split in this society between the rich and poor.  There is so much money being put into luxury lifestyles; cars, condos, fashion…… and so little being put into making a better life for the less fortunate.

The big news story this week is the “Panama Scandal” outing so many of the ultra rich stashing away their billions so they don’t have to pay so much tax.

It’s really starting to disgust me. You haven’t heard the end of this subject! 

For now all those crazy, shopping people can stay over there on Consumer Street.

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“And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon gods they made…..”Sound of Silence

 

Source: ‘Relentless investment’ fortifies Masonville

 

Be Happy , damn it!

Be happy. That’s what they say, choose to be happy. Like it’s just that simple.

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I try, I really, really try.

The last few days I’ve had a bad cold. I worked two days as it was coming on, taking non-drowsy medication to dry me up and keep me going. Yesterday I had the day off and let myself be sick. I watched 23% of my PVR saves and had a couple of short naps, shuffling between the fridge to get ginger-ale, the washroom and keeping the wood stove stoked and hot.

My eye started pussing up in the afternoon and by dinner time it was oozing, itchy and sore. No way was I going to get dressed and drive to town….. I couldn’t. So I visualized having a supportive mate that went to town to get eye drops and made me something wonderful for dinner that would go down smooth and warm making me feel so much better. He would rub my feet and feel sorry for me.

He would listen about my altercation at work when a nagging co-worker finally pushed me over the edge. I’ve been trying to get her out of my head for days; it’s a lot harder when you are alone.

“Visualize your life the way you want it to be!”   Or is it just wishful thinking?

There is a meeting I would like to go to today. However, I have a hacking cough, drippy nose and my eye looks like a red turtle head in the shell, all wrinkled from the swelling last night, and watery.

Maybe its Gravitation Waves, it feels like there is more gravity pulling me down and I’m struggling to stand up. That’s what trying be happy, when you are not, is like.

What a bummer post! It’s just the cold talking. I have to go to town and get those drops because I’m working tomorrow. I will be all better tomorrow and be happy at work …. on a Sunday, wearing a damn baseball hat…… oops…

Be Happy, damn it!