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I don't block anybody, but just recently, a friend of mine who had an issue with a friend we have in common blocked me. I'm still shaking my head over that one, but I can't be bothered with that kind of drama. Like you, Andi, I will continue to speak my mind, and if someone blocks me, it reflects on THAT person and has nothing at all to do with me. 


People act like the internet is this big Pretend-Land where you can get away with all sorts of behavior and they forget that there are flesh-and-blood people on the other side of the screen. "If you cut me, do I not bleed?" to quote Shakespeare; applying that standard might make more people stop and think and really, after all? Is an opinion, no matter how well or ill-informed worth a friendship, even an online one? I behave online as I would "irl" and people who think it's okay to be asshats online, are probably the same people who are rude to clerks and waiters and salespeople in real life; in general, complete assholes, anyway. Let 'em block ya, Andi! xoxo

1 week, 5 days ago on It’s just Facebook. Except, no. It’s NOT.

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I wouldn't work at the Family Dollar Store near my house if you paid me 35.00 an hour. It's fucking DANGEROUS! The last time I was in there, I helped Manager James fend off some drunk, cracked-up guy who was trying to steal a bag of whatever. The whole incident escalated from Drunk-Crack guy interrupting me trying to purchase my goods, to James the Manager being rammed by this idiot. I called 911, grabbed my purchases and ran outside, where James had followed Drunk-Crack guy to take back bag of whatever. It was like a really bad game of "Capture the Flag".  Hollering and chasing Drunk-Crack guy and getting ready to hit him with my cane (yeah, I've done that before, when I fended off two muggers at the same time, who then decided it was not worth it), James and I managed to elude and keep this guy from doing anyone any bodily harm, until his adrenaline wore out, or he decided he'd hung around too long and the cops would catch him. He finally ran off down Nebraska Avenue, 33602, and I called TPD back, telling them their robbery had just become an assault with intent to harm.

I hope Jesse stays safe. Those rough 'hoods are generally not where people go to work or play. Living here has given me a whole new skill set and one that is generally not accepted in polite company. I have to out-crazy the crazies and out-shout the shouters. Thank god I have NOT run into idiots with guns yet, but by the time these morons have gotten justhatclose to me, we're on a whole new level of insanity, and they ain't thinkin' about guns. 

Last Wednesday, at 6:15 am, at the bus stop, a black guy was trying to give me some sob story about "dem bitches, robbed me o' mah money, and I just need a cigarette..." which he repeated 437 times, even as I said, "Look, I'm not giving you anything." Finally, pissed and reaching critical mass, I hollered "WHAT FUCKIN' PART OF I'M NOT GIVING YOU A FUCKING THING DO YOU NOT FUCKING UNDERSTAND, YOU IGNORANT FUCK?! I'M NOT FUCKING DISCUSSING THIS ANYMORE. GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!!!" He left in a big, fat hurry. I don't play. DEFCON5 would have been the stick up side his head. I have absolution in the form of being clinically insane; there are benefits to that, you know.

What a world, and if the guy were so hungry, I'm sure there are plenty of kitchens, food stamps and other avenues for him to obtain his goodies. But, really? Pringles? He shoulda gone for the Funions! xoxo

1 month ago on Dollar Stories: Empty those pockets!

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Yes to all three and they are ALL a pain in the ass. I dream of my teeth falling out, but get this: they're really, really big and they squirm around in my hand. Because of my life-long anemia, and certain medications I take, I have like NO upper teeth in front; well, maybe one. But I look like that sea-serpent cartoon, with one fang in the front, this is why you never see my to-die for shit-eating grin. Being a Scot, I also have the WORST dentition in the world (look it up) so we may be fierce warriors, but we just gum people to death, I guess, or did, back in the day. Currently looking for a dentist for that dreaded upper plate.


Recurring dreams, ugh. Why in the hell can't they ever be anything good? It's either I'm sitting on the toilet naked in public, allofasudden! Or, I'm in calculus, about to take a test, and I just remember that I haven't been to class all year, or that I even HAD that class. The only thing worse is, I'm about to take a calculus test that I've forgotten I had a class in, while sitting on the toilet naked, in class. Yes, I've REALLY had that dream. Dafuq?


Episodic? Next up, a Very Special Episode of "Mary Plays 20 Questions With Nic Cage, As He Turns Himself Into A Cardboard Popcorn Movie Holder-Thingy" or some shit. He's always ass and I'm always clueless, but he wins through in the end and gives me some useful information regarding magicians. I shit you not. My head is a fun-house. However, I've lived with this nonsense for close to 60 years; I'm used to it and it's no worse than my mom. She sat up one night; jacked my dad in the eye with her fist and shouted, "JUST BE GLAD YOU'RE A FISH! YOU CAN WRITE ON SUNDAYS!" So, I guess it's hereditary. xoxo

1 month ago on In which I dream I am a zombie and my teeth fall out.

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Most Dream Interpretation sites are bullshit, where “most” means “all of them” but I was trying to be nice, and then I remembered belatedly that I’m not nice.

YES, you are nice!

1 month ago on In which I dream I am a zombie and my teeth fall out.

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Drug addicts have to hit bottom more than once before they decide to climb back up.

I should tell you, once I was at an AA meeting and a guy said, "Well, I just got out of rehab for the 13th time..." So many things I could have said. "Thirteenth time's the charm" or "Rehab's for quitters." We ALL have a mordant gallows humor about this. I no longer go to AA; I seem to live it.

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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I think I answered everything you said in the "side notes". We see SO much of this, that at times we've become inured to the seriousness of the situation. It's second nature to run out and help the skeevy guy, knowing that he's going to do his 72 hours in detox, or jail or whatever and then, be right back out here asking for spare change and annoying the hell out of us. The saving grace and redemption of my own fall, has been to get out there with the blanket and the water, call 911, do whatever to see that they live another day. JC and I commonly debate, "well, so and so could change, you know" knowing full well, that they probably won't. But that's not for me to judge or recriminate against. I left that to my ex-husband who was just oh, so sure, that I was into God-knows-what when I was hospitalized for congestive heart failure and then had to have a phone hearing with Unemployment to justify, why I hadn't been looking for work. He justified his own righteousness so much, that he helped himself to a girlfriend. 


All we are given is this moment; this moment to live in and to experience. Jesse, I am betting was really stunned by all of the implications of a guy lying out in the $ Store parking lot; not just the good Samaritan, to whom this was probably nothing (in some urban settings, this kind of thing is the norm, and no one bats an eye; they just pitch in) but also, thinking about Skeevy Guy and what may be going through his head prior, "MAKE THE PAIN STOP". When I was in the homeless shelter, with 70 of my brand-new-closest friends, there was a guy I called "Sun Cancer" guy, although his name was Ron. I may have written about him. He'd been in prison, as most of the population in the homeless shelter had, as it in truth, is a half-way house. Ron was zoned out most of the time, and if he wasn't, he was looking for every way possible to get that way. He was also HIV-positive. He lived in the Guys' house, which was just south of the Gals' house, but we all had free rein in both houses. I was looking for someone one afternoon, and I came bopping through the front-door from the back of the Guys' house. Ron was sitting on a chair, just to my left. I looked down, and said "Hello Ron, how are you doing?" He looked up at me. He was straight that day, and what I saw in his eyes saddened me and terrified me. I saw pain, humiliation, fear and hopelessness. Just abject hopelessness. We looked at each other for what seemed like an eon, but must have been just seconds, and he said, "Mary, I'm alright." He clearly wasn't. At that moment, I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. I knew I was homeless. I knew that I had lost a lot, but some good friends had made sure that I had the things that were most important to me, even if I couldn't have them in the shelter. The gravity of being homeless, the terrible sadness of being with these people who didn't want to be here, who I didn't know, who weren't my friends, bore down on me. But the worst feeling was, I understood what Ron was feeling; that need to just be obliterated consciously, so that he didn't have to deal with all of the pain, the shit and the mental anguish. 


I think that's why you and Jesse and Christopher and probably Abbie are still talking weeks later; you realize what this is all about; what the stakes are and what it really means. It's not just some abstract "Skeevy guy" lying out there in the parking lot; it's a real human being, who at one time, had dreams, hopes and desires for a future. It's that terrifying realization that he probably won't ever see those things come about and he is a human being and his loss, as much as we may say "waste of oxygen", you're right, it's not ours to decide by any means, and you just never know. He may have an epiphany and come to the realization that he has better things to do with his life.

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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Sorry to go all philosophical and religious on your ass, but the whole argument AGAINST saving people’s lives is based in Right-Wing, Conservative, dogmatic bullshit. For an agency that talks about being interested in saving people’s souls, these a-holes are sure callous with human lives.

Everyone deserves that chance. I, too, am a prime example of "hitting bottom" and fighting my way back up. It can be done. My particular grace and redemption lies in the fact that I can help others, even if it is just to give the drunk guy a blanket when it's cold out. But, for the grace of God, go I. I'm the same. I could easily be the one out there receiving the blanket from a pitying soul, or lying in the parking lot, O.D.'ed. It's One Day At A Time, Baby, one day at a time...

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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I’m not sure of all the science involved, because I’m not a medical professional, but basically the drug reverses overdose effects when someone is in respiratory distress – not without some serious side effects like seizures, vomiting, etc.

Heroin addiction is making a HUGE comeback. It's been present in this 'hood for over two years as the main source of a mind-altering chemical. Right behind it is crack, methadone, and that favorite of favorites, oxycodone. My last neighbor's drug dealer and I had a "Come To Jesus Moment" before I turned the whole lot of them in, 'cause I don't play that shit.

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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Dollar Stories are the unbelievable dollar store tales, as reported by my hubz.

This kinda shit is why I started "Homeless Chronicles in Tampa"; no one would believe it, but it's true. So, I get that. Write that shit down!

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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I had to start writing them down because no one will believe me when I tell them the shit he goes through managing a cheap-ass shop in the ghetto.

I live in this ghetto. We call it "da 'hood."

2 months ago on Dollar Stories: A Skeev OD’d. #Narcan

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As one who is "spatially-challenged" I pretty much rely on shit being where I left it. This is as bad as the hateful wench who was my roommate in the homeless shelter and would deliberately leave giant boxes on the floor and string electrical cords around, because she knew I'd fall down. I can be fast as a whip on the computer, but when software houses start monkeying around with the layouts, I'm lost and it takes me quite a while to get back in the groove. The level of frustration can get high, and since my frustration levels are of interest to the public safety poo-bahs of Tampa, said software houses should knock that shit off, before Tampa becomes just a charred smear on the map. 


As the old adage goes, "If it ain't broke, take it apart, lose some of the pieces, put it back together, so it will be. . ." Wait, that's the wrong adage; well, you know what I mean. Leave it alone! The dorks at FB have already messed that up so that I can barely stand to look at that and now I'm missing out on my LOLcats 'n' shit. That's a hell of a way to run a railroad!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Why or why not?

No one asked for this; leave my shit alone!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Are you a fan of the new Twitter look?

No!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Which, of course, instantly made me feel better. Misery loves company.

Then, we should all be happier than wrens in a june-bug patch!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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I know I should be excited about these particular attributes. But the fact of the matter is, I’m just not.

I always feel like Helen Keller must've felt when she was bad, and her parents re-arranged the furniture as punishment. It wouldn't be so bad, but EVERY single app in the world does this! FB looks like deranged chimps got a hold of it!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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I was looking for popcorn in the chip aisle but found it, instead, with the shoes.

"

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Too much ground to cover, and it’s all a jumbled mess.

I expect my house to be a jumbled mess, not my computer, apps and shit like that there!

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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It’s kind of like Walmart, now:

Yeah, and we all know what a class-act Walmart is. . .

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Everything is so much BIGGER, it should make tweets clearer and easier to read.

I'm blind, and I think it's TOO BIG! WTF, Twitter???

2 months, 1 week ago on I don’t like the new Twitter look.

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Hey, so hi! What a great way to start a post. Last year, when we were doing this a-to-z frippery, I forgot #ROW80 existed, so I wrote a make-up post and gave it cheesy flowers and candy. This year, I've been so into the TEAM thing, I missed the start of the 2nd round of ROW80! Heaven forfend! I need to clone myself and get me one of them Content Managers, or one of them Writers I been hearing about, because this one-horse outfit shit is for the birds! At least I haven't followed myself or posted your shit under my name in a while, so that's a huge plus, but my poor book? About the Undead Alien Underground Railroad? Sheesh, I have barely scratched the surface of fixing that unholy mess! As always, you entertainment [sic] (I was gonna fix, but it's funnier left alone) the poop out of me, Andi-roo! Mary xoxo

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Hey so hi – #AtoZChallenge

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I completely agree with this! Don't give me E-VIL and no redeeming qualities! That will make me put down a book, or turn off a movie, because the puzzle behind the character is missing. One of the best characters I ever encountered was the "Cancer Man" in the X-Files. A seemingly, unredemptive baddy who is an assassin, but a frustrated, unpublished author; there is real heart and soul there. He's not just bad, for the sake of bad. 


On a related note, the more complex the antagonist, the more likely you are to find a dense world that character inhabits and that is another thing I hate; simple worlds that don't seem real, or are peopled by 3 or 4 characters. I know I'm not telling you anything; I've read your wonderful prose! But, I am new to this, with my little background in rhetorical writing and playing violas and messing about with computers! So, if I come off like Captain Obvious, at least it's not Confuse-a-what (although that is still front and present!) Thanks for the hella tutorials and the fun along the way! Mary xoxo

3 months, 2 weeks ago on A Crappy Character is a No Go. — #AtoZChallenge

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Andi, I've been so remiss and getting over here to read your always wonderful, funny and GREAT blog! I have the "Beat Sheet" and need to apply it to my own "Music of the Spheres" that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. I have this hot-mess that desperately needs organization! This will help!  Thanks, Mary

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Blake Syder’s {Extended} Beat Sheet – #AtoZChallenge

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Hmmm, judging by the number of really fun, vibrant and great blogs I've been reading, I think that ranks right down there as one of the least prescient and most uninformed things I've heard in a while. I like your categorization though and count myself in along with the "Pointless" category, which is okay by me! 


It is interesting too, that this is being bruited about by bloggers themselves; it's like musicians saying "the music is dead" and then. . . what? Put the viola back in the case? I think not. As long as there are people who want to write and develop an audience and get other people interested in blogging, blogging is not dead. Latin is supposedly a "dead" language because it is not used in common commerce, or spoken in day-to-day transactions or in life. But, if you are in Law, Medicine, any of the sciences; Geology, Biology, etc., you are going to learn a fuck-ton of Latin! I think I just outed myself as a prime example of "Pointless" because I forgot where I was going, but Latin is about the only "dead" thing, other than the Grateful Dead and the last time I checked, there was a pretty good sub-culture of "Deadheads" wandering the landscape. So, the people who say "Blogging is Dead" are wrong.

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Blogging is dead – only if your blog sucks.

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Nazi Germany was NOT a socialist county, krempfen, but a fascist one. If you're going to spout outrage, at least spout outrage with your facts checked and correct! Socialism as first theorized by Karl Marx and Frederic Engels under the Communist Manifesto said NOTHING about picking up arms and spreading the word! "The Communist Manifesto" was written in 1848 in Germany and was based on the economics of a burgeoning and nascent Industrial Revolution.


The fact that Communism took fire in what became the USSR first in 1918, was completely unexpected to the Bolshevik leaders at the time. In fact, Lenin was not even in Russia. Long story short because this is accessible to anyone who would care to take the time and READ and LEARN with an unbiased view; the USSR that we faced during the Cold War was the USSR of Stalin, not Lenin and not Trotsky. Socialism and Communism are two VERY DIFFERENT economic systems. Great Britain is a Socialist society, as is Sweden, Switzerland and Canada.


Nazi Germany was a fascistic society, and backed by the Junkers and other German Industrialists, as well as the hoi-polloi, who had their heads firmly up their asses, and was what the RIGHT WING would become given half a chance. There is a difference, krempfen, but obviously, you are one of the mensches who chooses to believe all of the bullshit on Facebook. Under the strict definition of SOCIALISM, Andi is right; Jesus was a Socialist and he behaved like one. So, you can continue to believe your bullshit, but I will continue to know the truth and look at Facebook for stupidities such as "Obama is the Antchrist" scrawled on the back of an SUV (complete with the little fish sign of idiot Christians, everywhere) followed by a poorly photo-shopped picture of Jesus ministering to children, but with a giant ant head! Now, that there is some funny shit! Have a good, if ignorant day, krempfen! Viola Fury xoxo

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Facebook Equals Stupid People

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It's basically like the old frontier days in the Wild West. They're fighting over water rights and once the original Host has been left standing at the altar, they feel no compunction to help facilitate the honeymoon when you eloped with the Best Man! That being said, douche-moves are the accepted fashion, when terminating a business relationship, which is just the suckiest thing on earth!

I, myself went through a similar thing recently when I switched ISPs from BrightHouse, which had been very good to me, but Verizon FIOS offered me fiberoptics, at T-3 speed, landline, for secure work over the phone and cable at a no-contract price that BH could not hope to match. I also have my own dedicated line. I knew BH was going to counter-offer and that is precisely what they did. I stood firm, because my new set up is far and away superior to what I had.

I also anticipated a shit-storm because, once you turn them down, or have ANY issue, with any type of service, be it banking (another fight with them) ISP, phones, if you do not accept their "scripted" responses, or accept what they will term is "policy" the knives come out and come out hard. I've never, EVER been abused so thoroughly as I have in recent months by my: supplemental Health insurance company that supplies transportation, to and from my appointments (I ended up getting the guy fired) my bank, when I reported a fraudulent charge and they closed my account WITHOUT my permission and now, BH. Their "Retention" department turned into a bitch of a shrew, when I tried to make an appointment to return my equipment. I repeated myself several times, asked for her supervisor and finally, got a commitment of that Friday, two days hence, to pick up the gear. Friday came and went and I started writing emails. I refused all of their calls and escalated my emails, re-sending the originals copies and my demands, stating that I would NOT be speaking with anyone on the phone.


I do this, not because I'm an asshole, although I am, but because I have Parkinsonsism and the concomitant emotional stress makes me ill, like PTSD. After my 3rd email, wherein I quoted Von Clausewitz about "War being an extension of diplomacy" and said something like, "come pick up your shit, or the next person you will hear from will be either the biggest shark of a consumer rights' lawyer I can find, or "8 On Your Side". The shit was picked up the next day.


What does all of this have to do with Hosting and Domains and all that good shit? Not much; just think of the domain as your address and the hosting is your garage. In this case, your address was held hostage by a hostile section of the "internet super highway" until you were able to recover it and place it with a friendlier garage.


One of the things I'm happy about is the fact that I can do all of that stuff myself. It may not be pretty, and I make lots of stupid mistakes, but I don't have to worry about hostiles, just idiots. Like Chrome. Believe it or not, I CANNOT post on my blog or answer anybody else's posts on Chrome, because, Google. They're so fucking stupid, it's unbelievable. So, I post and comment in Fire Fox and do everything else in Chrome. Chrome seems to think I need to use their stupid Drive. Piss on that! But that's a rant for another day! xoxo

4 months, 3 weeks ago on I don’t understand the interwebz.

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@marjoriemcatee @Andi RooThere are going to be people who cry about EVERYTHING! My blog is currently is in some kind of hideous snot-green theme, because someone told me that it was too hard to read the lighter letters on a darker background. For Pete's (f-ck's!) sake! It was written in Hacker Vision. Being legally blind and being, well, a computer person and by nature at a keyboard, 18 to 20 hours a day, most of us use a combination of colors called "Hacker Vision" and it is really a hell of a lot easier on the eyes. In my case especially. I cannot tolerate bright colors, or lights. I write in a dark room, with 2 very "dark" monitors that employ this software. Solution? Write the bitch in "Hacker Vision" and post it in whatever the hell my blog is looking like, these days. It is apparently legible, as I'm getting comments to pertinent posts. But seriously? I'm sure someone somewhere is getting up the nerve to say "Viola, about that booger-colored blog of yours..." Bite me.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Blogging from AtoZ 2014 #AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ

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Geeze, Andi; you and I need to go to some small, overcrowded place like Starbucks (which I have never, ever stepped foot into) together. I guarantee that would be a laff-and-a-half! I'm not a big fat clown (and SHAME on you for saying that about yourself!) You're not! You ARE funny as hell, though. I'm just a blind, parkinsonism, tremor-ridden confuse-a-what mess and we could probably have people rolling in the aisles!


First off, I wouldn't fit in at Starbucks because I wear Dollar Store stuff; this year it's all Leopard Print. I look like Edith Prickley from the old SCTV series and I wear heavy boots (prevents toe cramps) and have braces on both arms, plus dark glasses and my blind-man's whackamole cane. So, I already look like some kind of deranged ninja. 


Like you, I hate to stand out and when I was "sighted" I could easily blend in. Well, those days are long gone. People see me and are like "Whoa! Is this bitch really blind? Is this a hustle? Is it contagious? Hmm, what would it be like to bang a blind chick? Where can I get those cool FBI glasses?" So, hiding in plain sight ain't gonna happen. My usual habitat is the supermarket and there is plenty of room to negotiate. I have only tripped over the displays 80 or 90 times. I almost took the wine aisle with a fully-loaded cart once, when I had 4 cases of water that I hefted myself into that bitch and had worked up a head of steam. I manhandled the bastard deftly around a little old couple who I just know saw their life passing before their eyes as I bore down upon them. As I sailed past, I hollered, "This is why Mary don't drive!" All well and good. Supermarkets have pretty good-sized spaces for me to avoid being cheek-by-jowl with the humanoids on the planet.


I'm also shy and prefer to initiate exchanges like you. That's a topic for another day. But, I will end with this, and this is how I know if we ever went to a crowded Starbucks or any small place where there is a security tape, that shit would end up on youtube and go viral in a red-hot minute.


I don't negotiate around small spaces well at all. I run into walls, crash into doorways, or scrape through them. I was in a Mickey D's the other day, and ran into the napkin and straw holder thingy and then, proceeded to drop my cane and backpack. Of course all of this clattering, draws even more attention, and I'm like "I'm fine, it's okay!" So, I go to order my burger and I'm talking to the lady and for some asinine reason, ordering food gives me such anxiety I cannot stand it. I always get tongue-tied. You'd think the fate of the free world rests on my shoulders and if I screw this up, we're all going to die slow horrible deaths. 

So, summoning up my courage, I blurt out "Twobigmacstwolargefriesnodrinks!" The girl looks at me for a minute, so I repeat it, only faster and louder, this time. She's still looking at me. Third times a charm; especially it it's even faster and louder than the first two attempts. Nope. Okay. I take a deep breath and say, "Two Big Macs, two large fries and no drinks." The girl says, "You can pay for the meal and it will cheaper; just don't take the drinks." I look at her, kind of blankly for a minute and then say, "Okay! Great! You're doing a great dob! Pause. "I mean, job. You're doing a great job!" At this point, I just want to run and hide. I'm in Tampa General Hospital after another trip to the ER for my eyes and there are all of these doctors and medical types behind me. Being partially-sighted has given me some very keen extra senses. I could just feel all those eyes boring into the back of my head. I figure they're wondering how I got out of the mental wing. That was the longest wait for food in the history of forever. I finally got my shit and left. I'm so used to causing a scene and embarrassing myself in public, I've long ago ceased to care. I tell people I am no more than 15 minutes behind or ahead of my idiocies, stupidities or faux pas. You and I really, really need to hook up and have some fun! xoxo

4 months ago on I am a big fat clown.

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I'm hanging in with Row80 and A-to-Z Challenge (plus assisting with Damyanti's hosting duties) and since JC's heart attack and ill health, writing has been sketchy at best. But, I keep on, keepin' on, as the saying goes! xoxo

4 months ago on Camp NaNoWriMo

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Andi, You are so dead perfect about all of this. I do not have a daughter, because my relationship with my mother was so, so blighted and my childhood was so bad that I vowed I would not inflict that upon another. I think, in light of what my life has been like it was a sound decision, but not necessarily a happy one. Now, at the age of 58, I am faced with JC's imminent death within the next couple of years, due to his bad heart and stubborn insistence that it's his life to live and at the age of 67, and having lived a hard, hard life himself, i do not feel it right for me to castigate him. I will only care for him and love him in his last days.


My mother and I had a life-long bitter, bitter feud, that only healed itself, when I picked up the phone and said "I don't care what you think anymore, it doesn't matter, you're my mother and I love you. The past is past." And let go the hatred, the petty shit about my father, politics, religion, my choice of men and yada yada. Because, it's all "yada yada yada." You are not going to change one another's minds. Somehow you have to reach a common ground. Part of her acquiescence may have stemmed from the fact that she knew, deep down, that she was sick and didn't have long to live. But, in that remaining time, I had the most marvelous mother in the world. And I do so appreciate that; I am so glad for the time we did have. Where that person was, when I was growing up is unknown.


But, I suspect, that damaged person (she, too had a terrible childhood) was buried under the fear and upset of having married my father, who although kind and caring, would not do what she wanted; stop drinking and she couldn't control him. Although he always held a job, and was kind to us both, it was never enough for her.  My childhood was one, long screaming battle, punctuated by her disappearances, attempted suicides, attempts at trying to harm my father and the occasional lull when she would smother me with attention; attention I did not particularly want, as I knew that at any second, it would go away. 


My father was the one I went to for calm and some sort of wisdom and he could be rather terse and enigmatic, although he was a very, very funny man. He looked at me once, after I had scraped my way through something on the violin and said "I want you to be great." Then said nothing further. Well, I was certainly nothing to shout about on the violin, but I kicked ass on the viola and I think he wanted me to be great in whatever I attempted. Something both my parents excelled at. Everything, that is, except personal lives. I fit the mold. Excellent choice and epiphanies are something. My mother turned out to be a wonderful woman; I just wish I'd had her around longer. xoxo

4 months, 1 week ago on Epiphanies {Part 2}

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Andi! I wondered when I was going to see your post on the Great Theme Reveal! I love your topic! Last year, I made a spreadsheet with all the letters in one row, and the topics in the columns, like I was going to hand it in to Arlee Bird for a grade or something. My topics that I had chosen promptly went out the window at letter "B" when I wrote about the Great One himself (Beethoven) and his 3rd Symphony. That fucker was so brilliant, he took music from the Classical era to the Romantic era in 16 measures! It doesn't hurt that we share the same birthday! 


Anyway, I chose HUMOR AND HUMORISTS for this year. I'm gonna post about humor (Captain Obvious checking in) and humorous writers, past and present! I finished last year, but I don't usually plan anything beyond breakfast, so this should be interesting. Besides, I'm not that funny; my parents were hilarious! I was the Straight Man to those two! I look forward to doing this with you. We've had a lot of fun together! 

Oh, and the hop-within-a-hop business drives me crazy. I get lost...

 

xoxo

4 months, 1 week ago on The Great and Powerful AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal

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I am passionate about music, and yet, it is a good thing I have a good ear, because I was pretty lazy throughout music school. Yet, playing has never ceased to be fun for me, nor has it become a chore; it is one of those things that makes me feel alive! I am a picky writer, but not necessarily gifted, or disciplined as such. Any discipline I bring to anything is a holdover from my music. I game as a hobby and am horrible at it. But I do lead a Clan of people who are awesome players in Runescape. They continually bless my grave when I die horribly and put up with my shennanigans; I'm there for comedy relief and to instill order. I have epiphanies once in a while, but they usually involve ancient alien life forms, or occur when my sugar has bottomed out. I'm pretty sure I've had just about all the epiphanies I'm going to have, but you never know; I'm still searching! xoxo

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Epiphanies {Part 1}

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@Andi Roo @ViolaFuryThe only reason I'm not the mediocre mess is because I had you leading me out of the morass. That's the God's honest truth, my dear. I am still a hot mess when it comes to organization pretty much, remembering things, and I can kick-ass confuse people easier than anything! You are an amazing woman and helped me when I was so sick and so down, I didn't know how bad off I was. I'm proud to be your friend, surrogate mom, or just to share bandwidth with ya, baby! You Rule!!! xoxo 

(and don't forget to pick a theme and be ready for Theme Reveal on March 21st, 2014)


Mary aka Viola Fury <a href=
"http://homelesschroniclesintampa.blogspot.in/.../a-to-z...">A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal BlogFest – Sign Up Now #atozchallenge #atozreveal</a>

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Blogging from AtoZ 2014 #AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ

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Geeze, Andi, where to start?


We loved challenges so much we signed up for Bloggiesta (a whole 3-dayer) challenge and neither of us were ever heard from again! I'm rolling just writing this! I met you when you were in the midst of your "theme" A-to-Z challenge and was way too late to get signed up, but I waited on tenterhooks until it came around last year.


Last year was hilarious for the fact that as per usual, I had no clue, so I made me a spreadsheet and for some idiotic reason known only to moi (probably my inner-anus being anal) I had a cell for each letter and a description column and all these bells and whistles (I LOVE building spreadsheets and relational databases) as though I were going to hand this in to Arlee Bird at the end of the month and get graded on it. Well, that went out the window at letter "B", when instead of "Bravery" (huh?) I wrote about "Beethoven" and his 3rd symphony. So much for following my own shit, much less anyone else's.


The other hilarious thing was Gina Valley's letter "C" which was "Can't Remember the Alphabet"  in which she bemoans the fact that she has taught and is very smart (no argument there), but has to sing the "Alphabet Song" every time she posted for the A-to-Z Challenge (I confess, after I ditched the spreadsheet, I had to do the same thing; who wants to post the letter "T" twice, or worse, post "M" and then go back and post "L") which I cackled and guffawed my way through, because not only was her post hilarious, but I had been binge-watching "World's Dumbest _________" and that week it was "World's Dumbest Drunks," so we had been treated to drunken idiots reciting the alphabet on the side of the road: "A" B" C" "D" "E" "F" G" and so forth...." sang one drunk old coot. But the most hilarious drunk was this woman who picked the "Alphabet Song" to sing at Karaoke. Who in the hell picks this to sing at Karaoke? If you're going to sing that, why not "Three Blind Mice" or "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"? I mean those are real crowd-pleasers, aren't they? 

So this woman starts out, and sings "A" "A""A""A""A""A" I don't know this song". Another drunk gets up and tries to help her. Now, it's "A""B"B""A"A"B"... and so on. They never got past "B". So, I think of this every time I think of Gina's post. 

Now, being the helpful soul that I am, I am part of DamyantiG's team this year, as she co-hosts. We're #teamDamyanti and we will be having Twitter Chats, at #AZChat which will be hosted by various members of our team. In my usual helpful fashion, I've offered up such themes as "Music", admittedly very broad, or "Serial Killers" which kinda narrows it down. One person even lamented that they were sorry it was only April and I helpfully pointed out that they could employ the Cyrillic Alphabet, for more letters, such as "ж" (sounds zhe) or "ю" ( sounds yoo) or "я" (sounds ya) and have an extra seven letters to play with!


But at any rate, my letter for "Q" last year was "Quixotic" and that harks back to good ol' Don Quixote, who tilted at windmills. I may do, "Quidnunc" this year, or "Quandary". Or, maybe Quiznos; I'm hungry! xoxo



4 months, 4 weeks ago on Blogging from AtoZ 2014 #AtoZChallenge @AprilAtoZ

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A-R, I'm thinking about using something like this, and probably a plug-in for my blog, since I regularly blow it up and then resuscitate it for fun. I need a calendar anyway, because the yo-yos who run the front office of my psychiatrist's practice, just up and quit calling to remind us all of our bi-monthly appointments, without telling anyone, because it "confuses the patients". This, after 3 years of expecting a call and I missed two appointments in a row. That bitch needs a new job; she's about the only person who can push my buttons to the point where I'm on the verge of taking hostages. But, I digress. Most def, yes. Some kinda calendar, because the one in my head sure as hell isn't working anymore. So, one for the blog and one for the wall! xoxo

5 months, 1 week ago on Should I use an editorial calendar?

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@Andi Roo@ViolaFury Jeepers, I just don't know what is going on. I have a new system and Chrome is hating me on all 3 systems now, so I must have been very bad indeed! Yikes! I won't be singing, but my play a few notes here and there. JC was sick and in the hospital over the holidays and I have had the same thing, but goshamighty! once again, I've proven the doctors and conventional wisdom wrong! My COPD rather than worsening, is bettering (is that even a word?) my lung capacity is increasing and I did not get the pneumonia that poor JC was left with. I have a dull, simmering sinus-like annoyance. Anyway, now, I am happy, I really wish Google would quit trying to be all things to all people, as I can no longer blog on Chrome, I have to Blog from Fox as well. Dum-dums! Hugs and SQUEEE! Mary

6 months, 3 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 2 – #MyThreeWords

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This is interesting; I've been listening to Pandora Radio, and for the last 3 nights, I've been going back in time, from the 80s to the 60s. Last night, I had the awesome pleasure of hearing the Beatles' earliest recording of "Twist and Shout" which is so great! They're raw, not quite in tune, but full of energy and verve and just so damn full of promise! That time in music, 1963-ish was the time when we had the Yard Birds and the 59th Street Bridge, and "Feelin' Groovy" which I heard on the radio every 5 minutes when I was about 9. 

It also was a demarcation as it left behind forever the very soft, fuzzy popular sounds of music and headed directly into 1964, which saw the rise of the Beatles and the Stones (great songwriters, terrible, terrible musicians) and the beginning of protest movements, consciousness awareness and edgy rock and roll. With the rise of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and the Counter-culture movement, the country became divided in a way it had not been, since the Civil War. "There's Something Happenin' Here," by Buffalo Springfield, (what is it good for?") and by 1969, we had Neil Young singing "Tin Soldiers and Nixon's Coming" the era of complete and utter rebellion. But that sweet, sweet song was in my mind the other night, the song from a completely different era, when all things seemed possible. It is a lovely song, if not hopelessly naive. We were naive to think that our outrage in the 60s and our sit-ins, demonstrations and causes of the 60s would change anything either. Now, I wonder if we will not go the way of Lenin and the Bolsheviks after we've finally had enough of the Oligarchs. xoxo

6 months, 3 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 2 – #MyThreeWords

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FINALLY! I found a way to get around your Berlin Wall, Andi! I have been trying to weeks to post something, ANYTHING on your lovely bloggy-blog. Even being logged into livefyre let me do nothing. Being on my new computer, let me do nothing. So, back to the ol' Fire Fox. Google is stupid! Chrome is stupid! Chrome now tells me to login to my "online" drive, with the same info that I've already logged into to insert a picture into my own Blogger blog. I haven't even read this post, but if you're going to sing, I want to hear! I'm just happy I can finally post! xoxo

6 months, 3 weeks ago on My Three Words 2014: Part 2 – #MyThreeWords

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How about this? Merry Fucking Christmas, y'all! I hate that semantics has become the weapon of choice. George Orwell predicted this and he was an absolute dead-on prognosticator. Jesus, Santa, Christmas is about the spirit of giving. Here's one for ya: years ago, when I worked at Verizon, I was trained for a new program by a young man named Hari Venugopal, from Chennai, India. We worked side by side for about 6 weeks on a new mainframe set-up. While waiting for some program or other to compile, the conversation drifted around to Christmas. "Are you kidding me? We love Christmas inIndia! We do Christmas all over the place in India!" He then proceeded to show me some pictures of Christmas in India. It looked like a cross between a Bollywood spectacular, one of the old Irving Berlin movies in loud Technicolor, with tinsel. Lots and lots of tinsel. And elephants; a baby elephant in the creche, representing Jesus. In this country, it would be a Christmas pageant I once played. So, the haters can just keep on hatin' and we can just keep on loving it and "do Christmas" any damn way we please! And remember, I'm not a Christian, I'm a Catholic! :D  xoxo

7 months, 2 weeks ago on The War on Christmas is bullshit.

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Well Andi, lots here. First off, I didn't even know that there was to be a live production of "The Sound of Music". From personal experience, a live performance is always a crapshoot. I've been in orchestras in pits, and chamber orchestras, and in rock groups that have ended up on Tee Vee. Let me get the most glaring thing out of the way first. Although I love the way I play, I look fucking strange to myself! Just. . . no. At any rate, sound production and engineering is always so much easier to control IN the booth AFTER the performance. There is just no way to guarantee what the mix is going to sound like. People who have never played in either setting have no clue, so they already have their heads up their asses. I KNOW what it takes. I've played with everyone from Bobby Vinton, Johnny Mathis, to Styx, Queensryche, Alan Parsons Project and in the Tampa Opera for 12 seasons, where nothing was engineered and everything was live. We even set Mimi on fire during "La Boheme," by Puccini. She was supposed to die of TB, but I think the orchestra was rebellious that year. Just kidding.


As to pitch. I have perfect pitch. Playing a non-fretted instrument and having to take vocal lessons and piano lessons as part of my major (a complete waste of good time spent with my viola) I sing pretty damn well. You do too; as I've heard you. I've played with so-called "celebrities" who couldn't find the pitch with both hands and a flashlight. One was so bad, he had no tonal center whatsoever. One note would be flat, the next sharp. Pulling pitches up and down, whilst playing live made me realize, that there were days I wasn't grossly overpaid. 


Live Tee Vee extravaganzas like that are usually always bad, primarily because they are done so seldom.Opera on the other hand, goes like clockwork, because it's always live, as are huge orchestral concerts. You know you've reached some kind of pinnacle when you can step in and sight-read a concert, which I was called upon to do a few times, when emergencies arose in orchestras I was not a member of. But then, from the time I was a little kid, I knew I was going to play something. I guess I should tell you too, that Ludwig van Beethoven and I share the same birthday; little wonder, eh? 


I've heard Carrie Underwood sing; on Jimmie Fallon recently and she is an excellent singer. She hammed it up pretty good too. Opera singers also have to act. They do not just stand around and holler. They murder each other, commit incest and have wars. I love opera! xoxo



7 months, 3 weeks ago on Sound of Music Q&A

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Rather than this being about the patterning after the "Thug" state of the USA, I liken this more to the "Thug" state of the now Chavez-less Venezuela. Killing off 1-payee health care, fettering the CBC are more typically moves made by a true dictatorship. We here in the States have already made clear that we care not about our children's nor our grand-children's futures, when we elected Bush Jr, along with Cheney and his pack of swine. We hoped for better with Obama, but here's our real problem: we have ceased to care or learn about Constitutional freedoms and what it means to preserve them, and thus, we have earned our mess. It is not too late for Canada. As a born and raised Michigander, I have some very deep fondness for the country "south of Detroit" and would like to see it flourish.

1 year ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy

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@Me either... not sure how I would react, with the Asperger Syndrome and all, so it's probably a good thing.

1 year, 7 months ago on I Got My First Hate Mail!

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I understand about not reading what you've written. I am a big idea person myself. I've got enough material to self-publish a book of my posts from a blog I started when I was homeless. One thing you shouldn't do, DJ. Don't denigrate your writing. I come from a batch of folks who took writing and the art of using language pretty seriously, although everything else pretty much slap-dash. They were wielders of the pen and masters both verbal and written. Just because we're typing into the cyber sphere and in short chunks, doesn't mean we're not writing. You rock.

1 year, 8 months ago on I Promise To Go Back and Reply To All Your Comments!

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Haven't pestered ya in a while and I chose the perfect topic to weigh in on. So you get the 'hood's opinion, yo, straight from Nebraska Ave., 33605. Why not? I gotz a lady who does my grill for 10 bucks, next door to where they bust out the bangers and the tats and hos be splittin' it, no?

I say go for it. I have red, curly hair at age 56. Luckily, I can get away with doing very little to it. I had the years of doing the spa treatment and all that at 100 bucks a pop, when I was playing viola professionally and on stage. It's all good. I loved hearing about the dog and subway. Didn't know she could go on Rapid Transit. My cat cannot here. The damned zombies here would eat her.

1 year, 8 months ago on I Just Found Out I Spend More On My Haircuts Than My Girlfriend

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I love the fact too, that we spend all of this time and effort caring for and fretting over our pets. Yet, the yahoos who send hate mail to dj has thrown him into his hate-stew along with the real animal Himmlers out there. Gah. Now, I have real anger issues. I need a prozac-like calming collar! Seriously, it's mind-boggling, what we do for our pampered little guys and gals. 

1 year, 9 months ago on I Got My First Hate Mail!

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You just got the big WELCOME TO FB! Where no one is too stupid or too crazy to call you on anything. I once went on a Romney Rant and a woman I had worked with in a "virtual office" 2 years prior, told me to "grow up and act professional." Okay, gee, I didn't realize all those stupid cat pictures, spam, and dumb political rants, including my own were the equivalent of a business office. Quick, where's my suit and salary!?! There went that friend. I find that with a few exceptions, FB can be a bit intolerant and at times, the kooks follow you to Twitter, which is like a 24-hour cocktail party. When an event is happening, that can be wildly entertaining. I digress. This haterz Engrish was bad, as well. I liked his ambiguous use of "a owner." It should have read "a owner of an cat." Just to balance things out. If he follows you home, have him picked up by the Dog Pound. Good post.@ViolaFury

1 year, 9 months ago on I Got My First Hate Mail!

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So sad, but you're human. You have to start forgiving yourself, or cutting yourself some slack. You nailed this perfectly and very logically and explained your limitations. I wept. Congrats. Besides almost punching a cat, you made an old lady cry. Happy now? @ViolaFury

1 year, 9 months ago on I Nearly Punched My Cat Tonight

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It's nice of you to own up to it, but you're a very nice and honest guy. I've had to apologize, for something that was meant to be playful and wasn't taken that way. We all have done it. We do the adult thing and move on back to fun kid, jokey, poo-poo jokes and stuff. I hope the pizza was good. Still chasing down that Ybor pizza. Maybe the hoodlums will let me out. Actually, there's a joint up the street that delivers killer angus beef burgers all the way, to-die-for real lamb gyros with extra tzadziki sauce and it's all fresh. The dumb guy has had to go back twice out of 4 times for my extra sauce, but it's less than a mile; I think he just likes to rip and run, up and down Nebraska Ave, 33605. Later.@ViolaFury 

1 year, 9 months ago on Twitter Fight!

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Nice! I'd lost you somewhere among the riot of Triberrs and RebelMice and whatnots. Now you're found again. Poor you. Enjoy! Looking forward to all the festivities and the chihuahua. ViolaFury.

1 year, 9 months ago on Pre-NonCon Awesomeness

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I love train stations. I also love bridges. I went to Japan and took 11 rolls of film... mostly of bridges. I had 1/4 of a roll of Tokyo. My mom was so mad about that. Still, it was fun. Did you know there's an Edison House in Ft. Myers, Florida? It's full of lights, What a shock!

SECONDS AGO

 

1 year, 9 months ago on Edison Station NJ - Free Photos via Creative Commons

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I love train stations. I also love bridges. I went to Japan and took 11 rolls of film... mostly of bridges. I had 1/4 of a roll of Tokyo. My mom was so mad about that. Still, it was fun. Did you know there's an Edison House in Ft. Myers, Florida? It's full of lights, What a shock!

1 year, 9 months ago on Edison Station NJ - Free Photos via Creative Commons

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