Friday, November 30, 2012

Last Day of NaBloPoMo

It is now November 30 which marks the last day of the NaBloPoMo challenge. The National Blog Posting Month Challenge involved participants in writing a blog post every single day for the month. Thousands of bloggers participated and the internet will breath a sigh of relief at the end of the day as they sit back and relax.

I entered into this month after participating in the Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge which meant I posted at least five days per week for 8 weeks. These challenges meant that I have posted more often in the last 90 days than I did in the entire past year leading up to it.

Some days it was rough and I do have a few lame posts that were only thrown up because I had to have something for the day, but I am happy that I participated. While I am happy with several of the posts that I have written over the course of these challenges, I do believe that the quality of my writing fell overall. Having to write every day reduced the amount of time allowed to plan out posts and contemplate what would go into some of them. However, I feel that I have been stretched as a writer and now know that I can write every day. A practice that I plan to put to use as I begin on a book.

I plan to continue my practice of posting often, but can guarantee that I will be slowing down now that the challenge is over. I am committing myself to at least 3 posts a week and most weeks expect that I will post more than three. However, three is my personal commitment. I have plenty of topics to write about and many questions to answer due to my post from a few days ago.

Thank you for hanging in there with me. Hopefully, the skills and discipline gained from this event will be evident in my future posts.

YAY!!! I did it and am happy to have it behind me.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why I Want To Teach

Two days ago, I asked my readers to pose questions for me to answer. That post and their questions can be found here. Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep asked me five questions. I addressed four of them yesterday and will be tackling the last one today.

Rachel asked me why I wanted to be a teacher. This same question was also asked by Brandie Boddie of Penning Praises back in August 2011 and I never properly addressed it.

Addressing flood relief workers
in Eastland, Texas
For the last 15 years, I have been a teacher in some capacity. Whether it was through jobs I've had, working at my church, summer camp or volunteering somewhere. I have taught kids and adults. I am often asked to lead meetings at my places of employment. I am usually the one who gathers information to share or teach to the other employees. In 1990, before people had the computer familiarity they have today, I was put in charge of the college computer labs because I had a talent for helping people understand what needed to be done. These are practices that have been part of who I am since I left high school.

When I moved to Puerto Rico in 2001, my job had two primary responsibilities. I was the pastor of a church and the administrator of a school with over 300 students. During this time, I taught on a regular basis and loved every minute of it. However, for some reason, it never occurred to me to become a "teacher."

A couple of years ago, when I moved to Moweaqua to finish my degree, I immediately sought out the minister and youth minister of my new church to introduce myself and get myself plugged in so I could start working with people and begin teaching. This was just a natural train of thought for me, but I still wasn't thinking of teacher as a profession.

It wasn't until my last semester of school that I finally figured it out at forty years old. I was reading a magazine article about the age of most public school teachers. According to this article, almost a quarter of today's teachers will be retiring within the next 10 years. As I continued to read, something stirred inside me. Over the course of the next couple of days, I continued to think about this article and began looking up more information. It was slowly occurring to me that I was built for this profession. By the end of the week, I couldn't figure out why I hadn't made this decision years before.

I started the process at school to be able to transfer to a school of education as soon as I graduated the following semester. I got my Bachelor's degree at Lincoln Christian University and started on my Master's at Greenville the next year. I have made a couple of changes since then as I try to decide exactly what I want to teach, but teaching has stayed at the center of my education.

I started out with the intention of being a high school math teacher since I am good at math, but was never really excited about it. I have since veered away from the public school focus and am pursuing a degree in ESL. (English as a Second Language) This will combine my love of teaching with my passion for missions and interacting with people of other cultures. ESL is also the second largest job in demand worldwide. Not only will I be in a field that I love, but in this competitive and difficult job market, I have an excellent chance at finding work.

Ideally, I would like to work in a university setting, but I will see where this takes me. I expect to graduate in May of 2014.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let The Questions Begin

I took a bit of a chance on my blog yesterday and opened it up for questions from my readers. You can see that post here. I should have done this at the beginning of the month since I have been struggling for things to write about as I accepted the NaBloPoMo Challenge to post every single day this month. Nevertheless, I have enough blogging material to last me for several weeks. If you would like to submit a question, I am still accepting them. Ideally, it should be left in the comment section of the original post (click HERE), but if you leave it on this post, I will try to remember where they all are.

As I sifted through all the questions that came in today (including several from my brother intended to embarrass), I decided that I will tackle them in the order that they are listed.

The first question was a series of questions from Rachel at When a Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep.

1) I don't know too much about how you and Red ended up together. I know it was a joke about an internet fiancé but I don't know how that started or anything. Would you give me one of those 'how we met' stories?

2) Did you ever expect to have over a hundred followers?

3) What is your favorite holiday tradition, for any holiday?

4) I think you said you want to be a teacher? How did you know that was what you wanted to do? (That first question mark is because I'm not sure if I remember correctly.)

5) You said that you've owned all sorts of animals (and eaten them). Are there any animals that you wouldn't own by choice or that you're scared of? Also on that note, what/who has been your favorite pet?

Question #1: Red & Brett - The Red and Brett story has developed over the course of several months starting last February when I proposed to her in the comment section of one of her blog posts. Yes, it was intended to be a joke, but it sparked a conversation that never stopped and eventually led to us meeting in real life and I have since fallen in love with this wonderful woman.

I have recapped this story several times over the course of the last year, so I will not do it again here. However, if you want to take the time to learn the story, Red has made a separate page on her blog that lays it all out and includes links to the various posts where keys parts of the story either happened or are explained. You can find the full story by clicking The Saga of Red and the Transformed Nonconformist.

Question #2: 100 followers - When I first started this blog, I never really thought about what it could become. I just started doing it. I thought it might be fun and I was right. At first, my only readers were the people that responded to my pathetic begging on Facebook for my friends to come read my posts. I actually used to send out a Facebook message to all my friends to come read. I think they are happy that I stopped that practice.

Stats since I started
My blog existed for over a year before it started getting any type of following. Last December, I only had 452 page views for the entire month. My blog was 15 months old at that time. After 15 months of stagnation, it suddenly took off. The numbers went up. More people found me. My followers started accumulating. I became part of a blogging circle of friends that I communicated with on a regular basis. Knowing other people were reading made it that much more fun.

I never thought about how many followers I could have until I actually started to get some. The first numbers goal I have set for followers just came recently. Red is still not a follower, but says she will be if she can have the #200 spot. Now I have a goal to shoot for.

Question #3: Favorite holiday traditions - This one is difficult to answer. While my family has had their traditions, I have no problem with letting them go. It doesn't bother me to not participate in something that I have always done. This is nothing against my family or memories of these traditions. I am just not a very sentimental person.

I love getting together with my family on the holidays. Just sitting, laughing, eating and telling stories is probably my favorite part of any holiday. However, even that has changed over time. I have gotten older and have a family of my own now. My parents have moved to Florida, so I don't go to their house any more.  My kids are almost grown and I am divorced, which means holiday time with the kids gets split up between parents. I'm not complaining. We have a system that works for us and we never really have scheduling issues or disagreements. It's just different now.

Question #5: Pets - There are many animals that I would choose not to own, but much of that is based upon my ability to take care of them. Who can say they have a pet rhino? No one I know, but if I had one where would I put it and could I afford to feed it. Would the neighbors complain if he got loose, trampled their dog and made a hole in their kitchen wall?

There are animals that I am scared of or would be if I ran into them in the wild. However, if given the opportunity to have a bear, lion or tiger cub, I would take it. I would raise it and love it and play with it until you saw my story on the news about a man being mauled to death by his pet bear (lion, hyena, hammerhead shark, Komodo dragon, naked mole rat, whatever). I do have a goal to own a monkey at some point in my life. That should give me plenty to write about when it finally happens.

My favorite childhood pet was a beagle mutt named Snoopy, but that is all I will share about him for now. I will be participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge in April and have started planning my posts. I intend to post 26 quality pieces and that dog will be the subject of my April 22 post "S" is for Snoopy.



You may have noticed that I skipped question #4. That was intentional. I believe that question will require an answer of more depth. I intend to address it in tomorrow's post all by itself.

Once again, if you would like to submit another question for me to answer, leave it in the comment section here or in the original post (Let's Dig A Little Deeper) that started this.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let's Dig A Little Deeper

Red and I had an incredible Thanksgiving weekend. You can read about her take on part of the weekend here. I loved that we got to spend an entire 4 days together, even if I did have to sleep through a large portion of it. My favorite part of the weekend was the drive from her parents' house to my house on Saturday night.

We were almost an hour into our trip when we pulled into a rest area. I ran inside to use the facilities and when I hopped back in the car, I asked Red to tell me story about herself that I hadn't heard. She thought for a moment and told me a story from her teenage years in India. Of course, when she wrapped up her story, she asked me to do the same. For the rest of the trip, we intentionally pulled out stories about ourselves that had not yet been shared with each other.

Red and I have never had trouble finding things to talk about, but this was different. It really gave us more insight into who the other person was. We talked about our childhoods, past relationships, family connections, holiday traditions and dozens of other topics. It was a great trip and I really appreciated getting to know even more about her.

I enjoyed this so much, I decided to extend the idea here. Some of you are new readers and others have been reading for a while. A few of you have been here since the very first post. I try to share my life in my posts, but as the owner of this blog I select what does and does not get said.

I would like to open myself up further to my readers. Is there anything you would like to know that I have not covered? Have I addressed something in a post that you would like further explained? What questions do you have for me? Leave your questions in the comment section and I will start addressing them. I will be sure to link back to your blog (if you have one) when answering your question.

I do ask that any questions submitted be respectful. I also have the right to decide that a question may be too personal and not something I want to share. Also, if you are a blogger and would be willing to receive a question from me on your blog, please indicate so in your comment.

Some questions may be answered with short answers, so I may answer several questions in a single post. Other questions may require an answer of more depth and will require an entire post. I will try to give adequate attention to both.

I'm excited to start this.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Funny Bone #4 - Results

This post is the fourth installment designed to see how funny my readers are. On Saturday, I posted the following picture and asked for people to leave funny captions in the comment section.


Following are the captions received.

Rachel of When A Lion Sleeps, Let It SleepDing dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding dong, the wicked witch is dead!

Ash-Matic of Ash-Matic Does ThingsDo these shoes go with this stall?

Vinny C of As Vinny C's ItWhat really happens when someone forgets to put the toilet seat down.

Shane Morgan of In Shane's Brain - After winning 5 years in a row, they made sure Cross-dressing Larry and his dancing toilet paper would not compete this year. 

Hestia (anonymous) - The Witch of the Jersey Shore met her end in a way eerily similar to her step-sister.

Stephen Hayes of The Chubby ChatterboxShe died of embarrassment after getting toilet paper stuck to her shoe in the Ladies Room. Her friends did their best to hide the body.

Shannon of The Squeaky WheelHaving read one too many Post Divorce message boards, Marsha took to heart the 'tap your toes under the bathroom stall wall' suggestion

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Due to my new work schedule, I have had to change my sleeping habits. I am working midnights, so I have to sleep during the day, but it's more than that.

Typically, I get off work at 8 in the morning. I generally have a few errands that I have to run and don't get to bed until about 10 or 11. I have to be up by 3 in the afternoon in order to pick my daughter up from school. I am getting 4 or 5 hours sleep. On some days, it is less than that.

About 7 each night, I am ready to drop. Once dinner has been cooked and household duties are taken care of, I often return to bed. I hate doing this since I am a single dad, but I am exhausted. I try to be in bed by 8 and have to get up again about 11 before going back into work that night, except on Sundays. I don't go back to bed on Sundays because I have to stay up to watch The Walking Dead. I feel that I can relate to those zombies and wonder if some days I look like them wandering around town trying to find a place to lie down.

I don't quite get the eight hours needed each day and the sleep I do get is split up over the course of the day. As you can imagine, I am pretty tired, but I am functioning. When the weekend comes around, I get overly excited at the prospect of being able to get uninterrupted sleep for an extended period of time. However, after several weeks of this schedule, my body seems to have made an adjustment. Even on the nights when I have the opportunity to sleep all night, I wake up after about four hours and cannot get back to sleep.

I have tried everything I can think of to get more sleep, but nothing seems to work. On the other hand, I am currently working on building up a caffeine tolerance, mainly from massive consumption of Mountain Dew. The Pepsi Corporation has only benefited from this situation.

Pepsi stock this week has risen every day.

Maybe once I complete my degree, I can get a normal daytime job and join the ranks of the living again.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone #4

Here is your picture for the week. Come up with your funniest caption and put it in the comment section. All entries will be collected and reposted in a post later in the week.

Friday, November 23, 2012

NaBloPoMo - Day 23

It is Day 23 of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). To participate in this event, I have to post every single day for the entire month. I talked about this briefly when I started at the beginning of the month and was excited to get started.

What I hadn't anticipated was the challenge it would be to keep writing when the holidays got closer. What genius picked November as the month to do this? Why not February or March? I am spending part of this weekend on the road trying to find a Wi-Fi signal so I can post. I also have to find the time to write something. It hasn't been easy, but I guess that is what makes it a challenge.

I just came out of a challenge that involved me posting 5 days a week for 8 weeks and now posting every day for one month, I can pretty much guarantee that next month, my pace will slow down. Plus, it will be the last few weeks of my class that I really need to concentrate on anyway. My professor has never accepted the excuse, "I couldn't write the paper last night because I had to finish my blog."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Remember to enjoy your family as the following photo ad from 1926 suggests because they could die. Don't you love holiday cheer from the Great Depression?

Get a picture of Grandpa...he doesn't look so good.

 

From everyone here at the Transformed Nonconformist, have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

By everyone, I really just mean me. I don't actually have a staff. It just sounded better that way. I don't make any money off this blog myself. How would you expect me to pay other people? Plus, it's not like this blog requires that much maintenance. What would I even have a staff do other than keep me company. Of course, that would be more of a distraction than anything else. You know what? This year, I am thankful I don't have a staff. They would probably want to talk to me and stuff.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful To Have A TV Without Having To Shank Anyone

Tomorrow, families all over the country will be getting together to remember how blessed they are. Millions of people will sit down at tables surrounded by family and piled high with a feast that usually lasts for days.

Plus, as someone who normally just shows up without bringing anything, this year may be the only year in history where I will be considered a hero for bringing Ding Dongs to Thanksgiving..

People will slip into Tryptophanic comas, watch football, play cards, get drunk, or do whatever their family tradition entails. At least, most people will. Many will not get to participate because the events of the next day have started to creep into Thanksgiving.
Black Friday  /blak ˈfrīdā/  (noun) 
The annual event when people flock to retail outlets to fight complete strangers for unneeded merchandise exactly one day after gathering to express how thankful they are for the things they have been blessed with.
I am not much of a shopper, so this is not something I would ever be into, but I can understand why some people would take advantage of being together and wanting to go do some shopping. If you like shopping, then it seems completely logical. However, over the years it has grown into something that makes me wonder why anyone is still interested in participating.

Looks like fun, doesn't it?
This weekend, we will all start hearing the reports of the people that were killed in the shopping melee that happened on Black Friday. Yes, KILLED!  People die because of Black Friday madness every year. Usually, the first reports of death are of some elderly man who did the unspeakable act of unlocking the doors of the store only to be trampled to death by the salivating shoppers eager to save forty percent on a big screen television.

I personally know people who have gotten a concussion or broken nose because they made the mistake of picking up a piece of merchandise that someone else wanted enough to attack them for it. I really don't understand why this is considered fun.

Unfortunately, we have a growing percentage of people who have no choice in the matter. Retail giant Wal-Mart has decided to open its store at 8 o' clock Thursday evening starting the 'festivities' early. Best Buy, Target and several other retailers are making similar decisions. Not only is the greed for money depressing to watch, but telling employees that they cannot spend that day with their family is unfair. Many who have family out of town cannot go to their family dinner because they can't make it back to work on time.

Retail workers all over the country (Wal-Mart, especially, is making the news) are threatening a Black Friday walk out if these new hours are not revoked. The lawsuits are flying and this holiday season is growing dismal for a lot of people. A cashier at our local Wal-Mart told me that a special employee meeting was held there about this issue and the employees were told that it would not be in their best interests to participate in any of the turmoil popping up around the country. Basically, they were given a subtle threat to keep their mouths shut.

I am so thankful that I do not work in retail and really feel sorry for those people who do. They are about to be put through hell for a few days and will not receive extra compensation for most of it. Holiday pay is for Thanksgiving only and does not cover Black Friday. Some employees will get a few hours of extra pay, but most would surely be willing to give it up and go back home to their families.

As in past years, I will not be setting foot in any store from now until Christmas except to get groceries. For those of you willing to go brave the crowds, please be careful, treat others with respect even if they don't, and remember that there is no Black Friday deal at the emergency room if you do get injured.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sexiest People Alive

This month, ESQUIRE magazine declared Mila Kunis to be the "Sexiest Woman Alive."

While I have to agree that Mila is a very attractive woman, I don't know how this is determined since I don't remember voting or even being asked my opinion on the matter. Of course, they may have considered me biased since I have a rather strong predilection toward a certain redhead.

On the flip side, earlier this week, PEOPLE magazine claimed that Channing Tatum is the "Sexiest Man Alive."

Once again, my opinion was not sought out in this matter, and I have to admit that I just don't see it. Also, I was not asked for a face shot so the people who decided this could compare all the people alive to make this determination.

While I will admit that 'sexy' is a relative term that will be applied to different people for a variety of reasons, the fact remains that there are a lot of incredibly attractive people who are outside of Hollywood. However, they will not get the recognition they deserve simply because they have not been in a movie covered in layers of make up and filmed at the most beneficial angles after spending hours with their personal trainers.

I challenge my readers to pull their eyes away from the Hollywood spotlight for a moment to take a look at what the 'real' people of this country have been up to this week.



Never mind. I retract my original statement.


Monday, November 19, 2012

No Time for NaBloPoMo

I mentioned earlier in the month that Monday is my crazy day. I get up early to get Kirsten to school. Run to another school to observe a junior high teacher for the state. Get out in time to pick Kirsten back up from school. Change my clothes to go to my night class and then get home with an hour to spare before I go in to work the midnight shift.

Despite all that, I am still in the midst of the NaBloPoMo and have to post every day. So, here is that post.

I will be posting a (hopefully) much better post for tomorrow in a few hours from work.

I feel like a blog posting MACHINE!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Funny Bone #3 - Results

In yesterday's post, I posted the following picture and challenged my readers to come up with funny captions.

After years of therapy and family assistance,
we eventually came to the conclusion that grandma's hoarding
was beyond hope for a cure.

I received captions from six different bloggers.

Rachel of When a Lion Sleeps -  It would seem the Jones' finally found out what to do with the coffin after their great aunt Sally made that incredible recovery.

Kellie of Delightfully Ludicrous - Vladimir's yard sale was the hit of the neighborhood, even if he couldn't leave the shade of the front verandah.

Shannon of The Squeaky Wheel Blog - Well, when they said to bring out your dead we tried to put Uncle Jeb on the cart but he just kept saying he felt fine and that he wasn't dead yet.

Stephen Hayes of The Chubby Chatterbox - The best garage sale in town, for both the living and the dead!

 Marianne of We Band of Mothers - The death of capitalism.

Ken Degner of Ken-inatractor - Due to Billy-Bobs unfortunate wood chipper accident, he no longer required something, quite as roomy, as the traditional casket he had intended to use.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone - Week 3

It is time once again to see how funny  and imaginative my readers are. Look at the picture below and come up with a caption.


Put your funniest idea for a caption in the comment section below. Feel free to put more than one if you have it. I will post the responses later in the week.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Color Induced Memories - Without the Use of Drugs

I am halfway through the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). During this month I have to post every single day. So far, I have done this. However, some days I sit down to write and think, "What am I going to write about?"

Then, I come up with ideas like today's topic.  Here is a list of some of my best memories inspired by the colors in the Crayola 8 pack.

Since the NaBloPoMo people don't provide topics to write on, we end up with crazy stuff like this.

The colors are as follows: red, yellow, green, blue, brown, black, orange and purple.


RED                                               

Red has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. I like bright colors and red stands out better than the others.

When I was in junior high, I got my first new bike. It wasn't my first bike, but it was the first one that we bought at a store instead of out of someone's garage. It was a red BMX HUFFY dirt bike. I lived on that bike for the next several years. It was on that bike that I had the worst accident of my life that still gives me back problems today. That bike was under me for some of my most daring and stupid stunts. I loved that bike and rode it all over the countryside.


YELLOW                                      

One of my first cars was an AMC Hornet station wagon. It was bright yellow with wood paneling on the doors. It had originally been given to Trevor, my youngest brother, but he said he wouldn't drive it. He went without a car when he turned 16 until he got the saved to buy his own. He refused to be seen in it. I, however, had no such shame and happily took it.

This is the car I was driving when I ran down my brother for one of our stunts. That incident shattered the windshield which I didn't get fixed for months. It also had a headlight that would fall out and swing by the wires while it pointed straight down. The floor had rusted to the point that your feet got wet when I drove over puddles. The hood was wired down because the latch wouldn't catch and there was a loud gun shot-sounding backfire when I let off the gas. The heat didn't work and the windows wouldn't go down, but it was a fun car to drive. I actually miss it.


GREEN                                          

In junior high, we had a dog named Butch. Butch was one of those dogs that was fun to have around, but was pretty useless. You know how smart some dogs can be? Butch was not one of those dogs. My parents were always commenting on how stupid he was, but one summer we discovered he had a special talent.

While weeding in the garden, Mom was also pulling the tomato worms off the tomato plants. Tomato worms are large, thick, green, disgusting-looking creatures. She had pulled a few off and set them beside her to be exterminated later when Butch came bounding up. Mom tried to make him leave since he was a hindrance to getting any work done, but he wouldn't listen. She eventually picked up one of the large worms and threw it, hoping he would chase it like he was going after a stick.

He did chase after it, but when he got to it, he ate it. As disgusting as this was, it was an easy way to get rid of the worms. Mom threw him the rest of them and he ate them all. He came back to get more. He sat there patiently until she found another one and he promptly ate it as soon as she pulled it off. However, now that he saw where she was getting them from, he knew where to look.

Butch starting looking over the plants himself and pulled off the worms he found. He never damaged the plants, but cleared the garden of tomato worms. It became his job from then on.


BLUE                                                       

When I was about 10 years old, my parents asked if I would like my own room. Since we didn't have any extra rooms, I wasn't sure where they meant, but I loved the idea. I had shared a room with my two younger brothers my entire life.

They moved me into the basement. It wasn't very glamorous down there, but I didn't care. It was all mine. A metal bed frame was pulled from storage somewhere and I was given a can of blue spray paint to fix it up. I loved it.


BROWN                                             

When I was an undergrad, I took Tae Kwon Do lessons. I really enjoyed it and I got into very good physical shape. Some of the training was grueling, but I never missed a day. My favorite days were when we sparred against each other. On those days, it wasn't just repetitious maneuvers. We got to actually apply what we learned.

The instructor would pair us up against people who were of the same belt class to keep it fair. The first time we did this I had only been doing it for a few months and had not tested for any belt yet. This meant I was at the lowest rank of white belt. I was put up against another white belt. However, it wasn't really a fair fight. He already had a brown belt in judo.

I stepped onto the mat and within seconds took a nasty kick to the front of my thigh. I shook it off and went on to win the set. I wasn't able to walk for almost two weeks afterward, but I was proud that I had taken down a brown belt. I never let him forget it.


BLACK                                          

Before I went off to college, I had lived in one town all my life. Waltonville, Illinois was a very small town in southern Illinois. When I got married and had kids, that same small town was all the exposure they had of the world. Kirsten was just turning two when I started classes at LCU. For the first time, my kids were exposed to people that did not look just like us.

In the apartment across the hall from us lived a Jamaican man named Moses. Kirsten was always fascinated with his hands. Every time he came over she would take his hand and turn it over several times. She never commented on it, but she always looked at them.

One day after playing hard outside, she was covered from head to toe with dirt. We put her in the tub and with her first swipe of the wash cloth on her arm, there was a profound difference between the color of her skin and the sections that had not been washed yet. She squealed, "Look. It comes off! Go get Moses and show him."

This discovery convinced her that Moses just needed to wash and he would no longer be black. We had to bring him in to show her otherwise.


ORANGE                                            

When I was very young, my maternal grandmother lived in a mobile home right behind our house. Since she lived so close, cookies where easy to get a hold of. Plus, it was a great air conditioned place to run to when Mom made us go outside and play. In fact, we got grounded once for going to Grandma's house when we were supposed to be outside.

She had a cute little dog we all liked to play with. She told great stories and she had this hideous orange light fixture on a chain that hung over her dining room table. I will cut her some slack because it was the 70's, but the image of that thing is still burned in my mind.


PURPLE                                       

When I was about 12 years old, we moved into the house where my father grew up. He bought the house from his mother (my grandmother), who then moved into a mobile home behind the house. At different points in my childhood, I've had both grandmothers in my backyard.

Grandma loved to garden and also had several grapevines throughout the property. The grapes were a dark purple. Almost black. She used the grapes to make her own jelly and grape juice. I don't know what she did differently, but I couldn't get enough of that grape juice. Welch's could have learned some things from her.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All the Time in the World

I consider myself a bit of a movie buff. I love movies and love watching them with someone who doesn't mind picking them apart and discussing the intricacies of the story line. The possibility of a great debate is probably most present in time travel movies.

I love watching time travel movies and trying to catch continuity mistakes. However, one has to be careful to follow the time travel rules being established by that particular movie. The rules are not universal. In some movies, the 'grandfather paradox' is in play, meaning that if you were to travel back in time and kill your grandfather, then you would cease to exist. This happens in Back to the Future. When Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox), accidentally interferes in the first meeting of his parents, he starts to fade unless he can get them to fall in love.

In other movies, going back and killing off an ancestor would have no effect on you. You would have altered the future from that moment, but since you already exist, you would continue to do so. This would not change even if you traveled back to the future again.

In some movies, a change in the past will effect the previous future. In others, what has happened has already happened and cannot be changed. In yet other movies, making a change in the past, creates a parallel timeline with the newly instituted changes.

So, when looking for these movie mistakes, one must be careful to only look at the time travel rules that have been established by that particular movie. For instance, in the recent movie Looper, there is a man from the future who is now in the present who must be caught and killed. The gangsters have caught the younger version of this man.

According to the rules of the movie, if they killed the younger version, then the older version would cease to exist. However, they cannot do that because it would cause a problem with time continuity. The future actions of the younger man still need to happen. They need to capture the older man and then kill him.

This all makes sense until they start using their method to draw the older man back to them. First, they carve an address into the body of the younger man knowing that it will leave scars. The older man, seeing them on his own body, knows where they want him to go. Then they start cutting off parts of the younger man's body. The older version of him, suddenly missing a few fingers, knows they will continue to do this if he doesn't go to the address. As he is racing across town to get there, other parts begin to disappear off his body.

This is where the mistake comes in. Obviously, they're going to kill him when he reaches the address. However, the radical amputations that the younger version has suffered would drastically alter the future actions he would take, which is specifically why they said they couldn't kill him. Someone didn't think this through.

It does seem that in most time travel movies, the idea of messing up the space-time continuum is something to be concerned about. If time travel ever does become possible, I wonder if that would actually be something that we'd have to be concerned with.

Let's assume that time travel has become possible and we could do it safely. Let's also assume that it hasn't been government regulated as always seems to be the case in the movies. If this were the case, I see all sorts of commercial possibilities.

Let's forget about the ideas of going back in time to do things like buy stock in Apple, secure thousands of acres where Manhattan or Los Angeles will one day be, stop Nickelback from forming,  buy Mickey Mantle baseball cards, or warn your younger self to take care of those Star Wars figurines. I am more interested in the implications for the average working man.

Travel agencies with access to time travel technology would make a fortune. Someone wanting to book a tropical getaway is always taking a gamble on what the weather will be like. We all know someone who paid thousands to go to an exotic beach somewhere and it rained through their entire vacation. However, a travel agency that could send you to any point in time could send you to your destination on a week guaranteed to have excellent weather based on past weather records. They could also make money sending people to experience first hand historical events of their choosing.

How many baseball fanatics would give up their life savings to be in the stands of Wrigley Field on October 1, 1932 when Babe Ruth pointed to center field calling his home run on the next pitch? What would someone pay to be present at the tearing down of the Berlin Wall or the first Wright brothers flight or Michael Jackson catching himself on fire. Many would pay just to go back to re-experience a previous point in their lives. The possibilities are endless.

Pizza places would never have late deliveries again. A person calling in would give all the usual information they give now, but would also be asked when they would like their pizza delivered. The time would be stamped on the ticket and as soon as it was done, the driver would zap himself to the moment in time it was requested and would knock on the door of the customer. Customers could even make a call and ask for it to be delivered right now. As soon as they hung up, they would get a knock on their door. In the event of a mistake on the pizza, the company would fix it and then send the delivery out to arrive seconds before the first one. This would stop the bad one from ever being delivered and the customer would never even know there had been a problem.

This could even be used by families to salvage a bad night. Let's say one of the kids runs through the kitchen as dinner is being placed on the table causing it to be spilled all over the floor. Dinner is now ruined. They could call the time travel pizza delivery to have pizza delivered at the beginning of the night and avoid the entire scene.

Construction contractors who get behind on a job could send their employees back a few days or weeks to double up on manpower and get themselves back on schedule. Stores would never be out of stock again because when the product finally shows up, they can go far enough back in time to stock the shelves before they lost any sales. The cable company would not give you those huge windows of time when they might show up anymore. They could tell you exactly when they would be there and regardless of how busy their day was, they would be there.

Fathers would never have to miss the birth of their children. No one would ever miss their flights and packages would always be delivered in time for the holidays.

A world with time travel would be awesome. As soon as it becomes possible, I'm opening a pizza place. I'll make a fortune.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stuntman Training #4 - Winter Games

It has steadily been getting cooler over the last few weeks, but this week it took that dip that I just hate to see. The temperature got down below freezing letting me know that winter is almost upon us. I don't say that with any type of anticipation. I have explained many times how much I despise the cold weather, snow, and ice. Click here for a post I wrote two years ago to get a feel for how much I hate it. I get a little depressed every time I step outside and get hit with that cold air. I hate it.

Despite how much I despise winter today, I can remember a time when I didn't mind as much. I don't believe I have ever been a fan of winter, but I was capable of going out and enjoying it from time to time.

We had a big snow one year when I was in high school and classes were cancelled for days due to the bad road conditions. My uncle Kevin drove a four wheel drive and asked if we wanted to go out and enjoy the winter conditions. My brothers and I bundled up and piled in the back of his truck.

The roads were in such bad conditions he never got above 35 MPH. As we were watching the scenery go by, we were amazed at the size of the snow drifts burying the mailboxes and filling the ditches. In several places, if it hadn't been for the tracks of the people that had driven through before us, there would be no way of knowing where the road was. Sometimes the drifts were even over the fence posts extending from the surrounding fields right onto the road.

My brother Kyle, noticing that the road was covered with hard packed snow due to the cars that had previously driven on it, decided to try some body skiing. Once we were sure Kevin wasn't looking, Kyle crawled over the tailgate and stepped out onto the slick road. Trying to counterbalance his weight, he slowly got both feet onto the road as the truck continued to move. On his first attempt, he was standing on the road while holding on to the bumper. He lost his balance every now and then, but as long as he held on to the bumper, he was able to soon regain his footing.

We were so busy watching Kyle that we forgot to keep our eye on Kevin. He had seen what we were doing, but figured since Kyle was already out of the back of the truck, the most dangerous part was already past and just kept driving. However, we quickly became aware that he knew what was going on when he yelled back, "DRY PATCH!"

We were approaching an intersection and the extra traffic on that portion of pavement had worn the snow away causing a 10 foot section of bare asphalt.  The snow and ice on the roads made it impossible for Kevin to stop the truck before getting to it. Since Kevin had been watching us in the back, he hadn't seen it on time. Kyle couldn't hear the warning due to the sound of his boots gliding on the ice and the sound of the truck. He had no time to react. The warning wasn't soon enough.

His feet hit the patch and abruptly stopped sliding. They took traction on the pavement and whipped his legs out from underneath him. The sudden jolt shot his body up into the air. However, due to the conditions and difficulty he had staying on his feet even before the dry patch, Kyle had a firm grip on the bumper and he held tight.

He landed on his knees and immediately fell, but never released his grip. He was being drug behind the truck. Kevin could not see directly behind the truck and did not know what was happening, but hadn't seen Kyle careen off into a ditch, so he knew he was still back there and kept driving. Plus, we weren't flagging him to stop.

Picture this, but with snow...and no rope.
Kyle discovered that it was just as much fun to drag behind the truck as it was to try to stay upright. Plus, now that he had injured his knee, standing was no longer an option. Trevor, not wanting to miss out on the fun, soon crawled out the back and joined Kyle on the bumper. Now when the occasional dry patch came, they just held tight and rode it out. The extra padding was all that was needed to protect their skin from being peeled off by the road.

We soon approached an area that had wide deep ditches, but they couldn't be seen due to the heavy drifting. There was no more room behind the truck on the bumper, but I wanted to have my fun too. I stood up in the bed of the truck, moved to the side, steadied one foot on the rail and launched myself out.

I tucked into a somersault and landed on my back in the middle of a large drift. The snow provided the padding I had expected. However, I had not anticipated how deep it would be in the snow and the difficulty I would face in getting out. It took me a couple of minutes to even get my feet under me and another couple of minutes to fight my way back to the top and back to the road.

The truck was stopped a few hundred feet further up the road. Kevin felt the shake of me jumping out, but hadn't seen it. When he looked back, he found an empty bed. Not knowing where I had gone and also not being aware that Trevor had joined Kyle out the back, he didn't know what had happened. He stopped in investigate, but no one had seen me jump.

I caught up to them and Kevin was not happy. He warned that the funny business had to stop because our mother would kill him if she found out he was letting us do this stuff. We agreed to be good and got back in the back of the truck.

As we got going down the road, I was telling Kyle and Trevor about what I had done. It was so fun flying through the air and not having to worry about the difficult landing part. They wanted to try it, but knew Kevin wouldn't go for it. We started watching for clear spots and when we saw one coming up that looked good enough, we all jumped out at the same time.

 After another warning from Kevin, we were back on the road again. Kevin had agreed to let us hang on to the back bumper as long as we didn't jump out any more. We agreed, but soon grew bored with this. Kyle flipped onto his back and pulled himself under the moving truck, Indiana Jones style. I hung on to the back bumper to relay messages to Kyle about dry patches from Trevor who was sitting in the bed watching the road ahead for us.

Kyle pulled himself all the way to the front of the truck and grabbed hold of the front bumper. He held there long enough for me to work my way back into the bed of the truck so I could watch the show that was about to happen.


Once seated in the back, Trevor and I watched Kevin as he continued to drive, thinking Kyle was being pulled behind us. After a couple of minutes, Kyle's head popped up over the front of the truck. Kevin jumped and dropped his coffee. Kyle dropped back down and was at the back of the truck again before Kevin could come to a stop.*

*Going to the back is much easier than pulling yourself forward.

Kevin made us get in the cab with him since we couldn't be trusted anymore. We drove to the nearest country bar and had hot chocolate while Kevin had a few stiffer drinks to calm his nerves.

Between each drink, he repeated the phrase that he had uttered hundreds of times in the past, "Please, don't tell your mother."



For other stories of times we used less than discerning judgement about basic safety, check out the following posts.
Don't Try This at Home
This Is Why My Body Is Falling Apart Today
Stuntman Training #1
Stuntman Training #2 - Playing with Fire
Stuntman Training #3 - Creative Uses for Living Room Furniture

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Post at PISH POSH


Yesterday, I got to write in my first guest post. For 8 weeks, I participated in the Pish Posh 8 Week Challenge with several other bloggers. When it was all over, Pish Posh held a vote for the participants and I won!

Among the scores of prizes I am being showered with, one of them was a guest spot on her blog. So, Why don't you pop on over there and join the party.

CLICK HERE to read the guest post at The Pish Posh.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Funny Bone #2 - Results

This weeks caption from Saturday's post had 7 participants. They each provided a caption for the following picture.


Ken Degner of Ken-inatractor - Try as they might, the Random Rainbow-ass Squad, couldn't quite capture the popularity garnered by the Blue Man Group.

Rachel of When A Lion Sleeps, Let It Sleep - It was their goal to set the record for the largest tower of piggy-back rides, but they miscalculated just how much the smallest person involved could hold.

QOE - That, my friends, is a Jersey Turnpike gone horribly wrong.

Neal of Raised By My Daughter - Yes, there IS a point where a love of hand-puppets and Russian nesting dolls goes too far.

Red of Doesn't Speak Klingon - Somewhere over the rainbow... are 5 random torsos and heads.

Kalen - That's gotta be the strangest game of leapfrog I've ever seen.

Youngman Brown of Good Youngman Brown - A group cries in the corner after their audition for "The Human Centipede" went horribly wrong.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You, Veterans

When I was in high school, I attempted to join the military. I had rather high ASVAB scores and all the branches were trying to recruit me. However, I never really pictured myself as a military man. My father, uncle and grandfather were all Navy men. I have cousins that have joined other branches. I had great respect for people in the armed forces, but wasn't sure that I would survive it.

I finally decided to do it for the college money, but didn't get past the physical. I had an asthma diagnosis when I was twelve years old and that was enough to keep me out, despite not having had any symptoms since then. I wasn't very upset about it since I really wasn't wanting to join anyway.

If it hadn't been for that pre-teen diagnosis, I would be a veteran today. I don't know how long I would have served or what my experience would have been, but I could have counted myself among the fine men and women that bravely serve our country every day.

Even today, I don't see myself as a military man and have no idea the quality of soldier I would have been, but want to take the time today to acknowledge, honor, and thank the individuals who volunteered to help keep our country safe from foreign threats.

I have heard many vets say that they are not looking for a thank you, but I still want to offer one and encourage everyone else to thank a vet. Thank you for your service. Happy Veterans' Day

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Test Your Funny Bone - Week 2

Click picture to read people's responses
We had some fun with this last week, so I thought we would try it again. Last week I posted this picture and asked people to write a caption to go with it. You can click the picture and scroll down to read what people came up with. I received several great responses.



This week, I have a new picture.

Let's see what you can come up with. In the comment section, leave a caption for this picture OR provide an explanation for what these people are doing. I will post everyone's responses on Wednesday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

911 - Horror or Humor

I was a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for about 2 years. It was one of the most interesting jobs I have ever had. It was also an incredibly frustrating, yet fulfilling job. I got to assist in helping a lot of people, but also had to put up with mountains of idiocy. I received many ridiculous calls which I will get to in a moment, but first let me remind you what 9-1-1 is for.

9-1-1 was established to give people quick access to emergency personnel. This would make it possible to get in touch with the proper authorities quickly. The number is to be used for emergencies that require immediate assistance.

For example:
  • Car crash with injuries
  • Currently happening home invasion
  • Domestic violence
  • Person spotted with weapon
  • Fight or riot
  • Fire
  • Medical emergencies

Inappropriate uses of 9-1-1
  • Barking dogs
  • Burglarized property
  • Power outages
  • Drug sales
  • Loud parties
  • Weather or road conditions
  • Legal advice
  • Keys locked in vehicle
  • Car trouble

Despite the knowledge people have that 9-1-1 is an emergency number, most of the calls received are not emergencies. When people call in for trivial things, it ties up the lines and prevents real emergency calls from getting through.

I am not suggesting that people should not call the police, but 9-1-1 is for immediate emergencies. Even coming home and finding your home burglarized is not an emergency. The thieves have already left. No one is in danger. Call the police and they will respond, but save 9-1-1 for if you catch them still in your home.

The worst time to work was during major storms. Everyone would start calling in to get weather reports, ask when their power would come back on and inquire about what roads were passable. While trying to get these idiots off the phone, there is a surge of real emergencies happening. Cars are sliding off the road. Fires are breaking out. Power lines are going down. However, the lines are tied up with non-emergency questions often causing us to be unaware of actual situations that require our attention.

Despite how frustrating the non-emergency calls could be, sometimes they were quite entertaining. I never ceased to be amazed at the reasons people would call in. Here is a sampling of some of them I can remember. Some were actual emergencies, but most were not.



"You might want to get out here. There are two dogs in the street having a 'verbal argument.'"
"Do you mean they're barking?"
"No, it hasn't gotten that far yet."



"Is it illegal for my neighbor to install a security camera and point it at my house?"



"I have told my son to go to bed  three times and he won't do it. Please send an officer out to talk to him."



"Without asking me, my doctor implanted a device in my arm so I can be tracked by the CIA. That's illegal, right? Can I press charges?"



"My son is 14 and had a headache. I gave him some aspirin, but..."
"But what, sir. Is your son alright?"
"I swear I thought it was aspirin."
"What did you give him, sir?"
"It was my Viagra. His erection just hit the four hour mark where the commercials say you should seek help. He's crying that it hurts. What do I do?"



"The 12 year old kid up the street rides by my house every morning on his way to school. I have told him to go another way, but he keeps doing it. I don't want him on my street."

After several calls we went out to investigate. The kid's crime? He was black.



"The sun reflected off the metal trailer of the semi that just passed and blinded me. Get someone out here to stop him before he kills someone!"



"If a dog craps in my yard without my permission, am I allowed to shoot it?"



"I have a restraining order against my husband and every time I call him, he answers. He has caller ID and knows it's me. He's not supposed to be talking to me. Arrest him."



The guy across the street says the cops are on their way to arrest me for having sex in my front yard. I pay property taxes and can do what I want in my yard. It's my yard and my wife.



"I came home from work and found half a car in the ditch in front of my house. Can I keep it?



"I came home from work and caught my daughter having a naked video chat with someone on my XBOX. Can you tell me how to find out who it was?"



"Every week on trash day, my neighbor puts her trash can right next to mine. I don't want her garbage associated with my house."



"My girlfriend told me I couldn't do cocaine in the bedroom anymore. Can she say that since it is my house?"



My neighbor's dog attacked my cat again. I killed it and threw it through his bedroom window. Who do I report this to?



"Send the cops here now! Seven lesbians just jumped out of my daughter's window."



"My daughter just called me and said her boyfriend is beating her up!"
"What is the address?"
"Aberdeen. Please hurry!"
"Sorry, but we don't have an Aberdeen Street."
"No. Aberdeen, Texas!" 



"Some Indian guy just called here and asked for my social security number. I gave it to him and now my husband says I should call you to find out who it was."



"Please send an ambulance. My husband has a deep cut on his stomach."
"I'll send one right away. How did he get cut, ma'am?"
"Well...I stabbed him."



I loved that job, but it really knocked down my already low opinion of humanity.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Psychos Need Love Too

Earlier this week, "Jen" E Sais Quoi shared some stories about nightmare dates her and her friends had been on. There are some great stories over there. At the end of her post, she asked her readers to share some stories of their own. I wanted to participate and tried to remember if I had any really bad ones. I was about to give up when I remembered an experience with a girl that I was surprised I had forgotten about. Her name was Kelly.

Time seems to stop
on these shifts.
I was about twenty years old and working the midnight shift at a gas station. There was almost no business all night until about 5 a.m. I had no tv or radio and this was before the days of internet. It got pretty boring. After cleaning up the lot, sweeping the floors, and making coffee, I would just pray for customers to come in to help me pass the time. Kelly was one of those customers.

Kelly worked at a local restaurant and would get off work about midnight. She would drop buy most nights to grab a soda or sandwich before going home. Being one of the regulars I saw almost every night, we talked a little more each time she came in. There were several customers that I enjoyed conversation with, but she was the only one that would stick around and just talk. Being by myself all night, I was happy for the company.

In the beginning, she hung around an extra 10 minutes or so after making her purchase. Soon, she began to stay longer. She sometimes stuck around for over an hour before heading home for the night. I didn't think much of it. I had learned that she lived in an apartment by herself, so she had no one to get home to. She seemed to enjoy my company also. We were both happy to help each other pass the time.

The amount of time she spent at the gas station increased more and more. Being happy to have someone to talk to, I never considered it until one of the mangers said something to me. She had been seen on the security cameras and spent so much time their during my shifts they advised me that my girlfriend could not hang out there any more. I couldn't get them to believe that she was just a customer, but I understood their point.

That night, when I told her she couldn't stay so long anymore, she understood. She then admitted that she had been hanging around in the hopes that I would ask her out. As usual, I was totally oblivious to this type of thing. I had no idea she liked me. You know in past posts how I have stated that I have no game? This is an example.

She also said that if she couldn't hang out any more, then the opportunity for me to ask her out had come to an end. So, she asked me. I had enjoyed her company for the last several weeks. She was great to talk to, so I agreed. We exchanged numbers and she went home.

The following day, after getting a few hours sleep, I ran into town to do a few errands. She saw me and followed me back home. I was quite surprised when she pulled in my driveway behind me. I invited her in and we chatted for about an hour. When I started trying to bring the conversation to a close so I could mow my lawn and get some more rest before heading back into work that night, she wasn't picking up on my cues.

As time went on, I gave up on getting my lawn mowed, but bluntly said that I had to go to bed before going in to work. She stated she would be quiet and let me sleep. Notice that Kelly did not say she would leave. She would just stay quiet. 

Not being as bold as I am today, I didn't object. I thought it was strange, but I said nothing and decided she was weird enough that our "date" was never going to happen. I went to my bedroom and went to sleep. I woke a few hours later, took a shower and walked into my kitchen to find her sitting at the table with a full cooked meal. I had forgotten she was there! I always appreciate food, but this was a little bizarre.

I was able to get her out of the house when I left for work, but didn't recognize this as the problem it was soon going to be. Had I made my reservations clear, I might have avoided what was to come.

 She showed up at my house almost every day. I was always polite, but would try to get her to leave. Often, I would not invite her into the house, but she was happy to talk outside. Once, when she showed up, I told her I was on my out the door for a friend's emergency. I hopped in my car and sped off. She followed me.

Kelly started showing up at my favorite bar. I would be hanging out at a friend's house and she would pull in his driveway. She found out what restaurants I liked to go to. She started showing up at my friends' houses when I wasn't home looking for me. My friends put up with her for a while, but eventually grew tired of her coming around all the time. After several weeks of this, they started treating her like crap. A few of the girls went as far as to tell her that she was not welcome in the group. However, she never seemed to hear it.

One day, I woke up to find her sitting at the foot of my bed. I decided I would have to throw being polite out the window. I yelled at her to get out of my bedroom. Once I got dressed, I found her in the living room asking what we were going to do that day. I told her she was going to leave and not come back. She was confused.

I reminded her that we had never gone on that date because she freaked me out. I had never, not once, invited her anywhere; she just came. My friends hated her and no one wanted to see her around anymore. She started crying and left saying that she couldn't believe she was being treated this way. I was relieved to finally have her out of my life.

The next night, I was sitting in the bar with my friends telling them the story of how it all went down. Now that she was out of the picture, they were volunteering more information about how they felt about her. They were telling me that she had referred to me as her boyfriend since the first time they met her. One of them said he thought she was my girlfriend since she was often at my house when I wasn't there. He had stopped by to drop something off once and she answered the door in a towel. She looked like she had just taken a shower. I had no idea this had been happening.

In the middle of this conversation, Kelly walks into the bar and joins us at the table, smiling like nothing had ever happened. One of the girls asked her what she was doing there.

Kelly replied with a smile, "This is where we are every Friday night."

She got up to go to the bar to get a drink. When she came back, she kissed me on the cheek and sat down beside me. She had never done that before. What was she doing?

We were all looking at her trying to figure out what was going on when she reached out and took my hand.  Once again, this was new. I jumped up and said I was leaving. The rest of the group followed me out the door. We went back to my house.

We were sitting in my living room discussing what had just happened when Kelly walked in the door. I stood to say something to her when one of the girls got up, walked up to me and started kissing me.

This had been joked about a few weeks earlier. One of the guys had wondered what would happen if Kelly saw a girl making out with me. This girl decided to find out. She then sat next to me, curled up close and glared at Kelly.

Everyone froze staring at Kelly to see what would happen. Kelly stood still in the middle of the room for at least two minutes. Suddenly, her face turned red and she started screaming. She threw herself on the floor and sobbed. We all looked at each other. What do we do now?

I started to get up, but the girl beside me said, "No, we already know she won't listen to you. This needs to be a territorial thing."

She told Kelly to get up and get out. Kelly got up and started cussing at me. She called me every name I had ever heard, plus some new ones. Her voice was shrieking as she confessed how much she loved me, would have given everything to me, and would have been good to me.

Then she abruptly stopped crying. It was like a switch had been flipped. She was in full hysterics and then...BOOM!...total serenity. She smiled like nothing had happened. She picked up her purse, laughed as though someone had told a joke and said she would see us later as she walked out the door.

Not only did we not see her later (much to our relief), but none of us ever saw her again. She disappeared. I never did hear what happened to her. Of course, I never really tried to find out.

For the record, Kelly was NOT a redhead.