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Letters to Nowhere

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Duties pull rank

Today's blog should have been a humorous story about anal beads, lawn mowers, and John Deere.. I say should have because mommy duties abound. My son is just not seeming to grasp the concept that school is important.

He's not even trying.. so I think tough love is about to descend at my house. It's a pay to play option. No good grades on daily papers = no video games, game boy, cartoons, or anything else I can think of.

It's a challenge to me to have a kid that hates school. I loved it. I did very well. I was the golden haired girl all through school. I still keep in touch with a few of my teachers. This total apathy for school is foreign to me.

I'll fill you in on the funny stuff later this week. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Gmac loves you….

As long as you’re in India.

*sigh* I work for one of the largest insurance companies in the country. I’m on the phone verifying coverage for lienholders/finance/leasing companies almost 8 hours a day. So, if you’re insurance lapses and the finance company repos your car. It was me that told them you didn’t renew.

As a result I speak to a lot of people every day. On average 40 – 100 people calling to make sure you still have insurance. My calls usually last less than 3 minutes. Until….
GMAC decided to out source their insurance verification department to India. Now a GMAC call can take 20 – 30 minutes. Why? Because they don’t understand English!

Not only have a lot of people that I have known for the last 3 years lost their jobs... but their replacements don’t understand the questions they are asking... or the answers they are getting. It’s disappointing.

India: Is gmac the loss payee?
Me: No, sir we can not add Gmac as loss payee. The policy does not have physical damage coverage.
India: No loss payee?
Me: No, we will not pay for a loss. No coverage for auto damage.
India: gmac?
Me: No. No coverage for damage. No coverage for Gmac.
India: No cover?
Me: (sweet lord make it stop!) No sir, no coverage. (Lather, rinse, repeat. This can go on for 15 to 20 minutes.)

To make matters worse, they don’t use their real names. They adopt a name, I’ve talked with: Chris, Matt, Alex, Suzy, Jessica, Sarah, Todd, Bobby, Mary etc. I’ve had them change names in the middle of the call. This makes any accountability impossible.

Thanks, GMAC. I hope the profits are worth it.

Washing soup

I recently rediscovered a deep love for my crock pot. I’ve been a crock pot cooking fool for the last few weeks. I’m not one that loves to cook. I don’t like spending an hour over the stove, so crock pots are my friend.
I was at the grocery store looking for my next set of meals when I spied the split peas. Mmmmm split pea soup. Heck Yeah! I left the store victorious. I’d spent an obscene amount of money to leave with 4, count ‘em 4, bags of food.

(An aside.. I remember growing up mom used 2 buggies at the grocery store. And not these pansy little half buggies most grocery stores have now, real buggies 3 feet deep. We’d fill two of them to the top, and never spent more than $200. And that $200 fed her, her husband and 5 kids for a week. Now, I spent $150 just getting food for two!)

Anyway… soup. Right!

I get home and start the split peas to cooking in my, you guessed it, crock pot. A quick inventory of the freezer shows no ham, no ham bone, no pork chops... crap no pork at all. Ok, don’t panic; check the pantry, grrrr no ham seasoning either. No problem. I live next door to an old fashioned southern cook. Country cooking at it’s finest. Shirley will have a piece of pork I can use to season my soup.

One quick trip next door and I’m holding a palm sized foil wrapped piece o’ pig. I unwrap it and drop it in. It’s fat back. Those of you that actually watch your cholesterol may be unfamiliar with this. It’s a piece of side meat from a pig (duh) but it’s used almost exclusively to season foods due to it’s high fat (duh again) content. Usually fat back has a ½ section of lean meat w/ an inch or so of fat.

So, 3 hours later when I go check on the soup... ack!!! All of the fat has melted. (For the record that usually doesn’t happen. but you don’t usually cook with fatback for 3 hours either) My soup now is covered by a layer of grease. UGH

I put the soup in the fridge, you know this trick ladies. Let it cool, the fat hardens and you can pick it off. Or so I thought. I get the soup out. Start to scrape off the fat and encounter... goo... disgusting jellied – goo. The fat had semi solidified into a substance that would have been right at home in a Ghostbusters movie. Disgusting stuff.

I ended up washing my soup. Stop laughing! Split pea soup, remember? When it’s cooled it solidifies into a solid block of soup. So… I took the crock to the sink, tipped it at a 45 degree angle, carefully monitored soup for any sign of movement. Not seeing any sliding, running etc I turned on the hot water got my spray nozzle ready. Then I... .. .. hosed down my soup.

After the layer of disgust was sprayed away, I reheated the soup and me and the kid ate some really good low fat, high fiber, pork flavored split pea soup.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More about SAW (spoiler free)

ok.. I really really liked it. It was the first time in a long time the end of a movie left me open mouthed.

I, personally, wouldn't consider it horror. It does have some gore and I'd be damned if my kid would watch it (at least not for another 6-8 yrs). I'd deem it more a psychological thriller with blood. A fair amount of blood. Most of the actual "yucky" stuff happens off screen. But you do see bloody hands, blood on the floor etc.

My mother, who can't watch Alien, Poltergeist, or even From Hell, would hate it. Her husband's going to have to watch it on the sly.

But, man it kept you guessing. And in the end, I cringed once or twice, was slack jawed from surprise, but still slept fine. Even if I did double check the doors before bed.. and again at 3:00 am when the storm woke me.

So, what did you think of it?

I just watched SAW

Wow.. what else is there to say? Wow.

Friday, February 18, 2005

10 important life lessons

Standing in line in front of me today were 3 teen/early 20's boys. They were glassy, bloodshot eyed, giggling, and most telling of all buying beef jerky, Little Debbie cakes, and the cheapest most generic soda in the world. When the total came up they all pooled their meager funds to buy this dope fiend feast. The cashier and I kept looking at each other and trying not to laugh.

Thinking about this on the way home I thought of some of the crucial lessons I learned when I was that age. Back when I was young, dumb, and full of........alcohol or smoking grass.
  1. Do NOT attempt to wax your own eyebrows after 1/2 bottle of wine. You'll end up looking like Whoopie Goldberg.. if your lucky!
  2. Never decide, on the spur of the moment, to let your friend(s) shave your head when all 6-10 of you have been smoking pot. You end up with a reverse mo-hawk. (This is back when it was cool for women to shave half way up the head and leave the top long. The 4 or 5 of us that were not involved in the haircut almost pissed ourselves laughing)
  3. Unplug and hide the phone at 10 pm to avoid embarrassing calls to ex-lovers at 3 am.
  4. This is not the time to dye your hair. Really.. the Gods laugh, hard, and long.
  5. Do NOT, I repeat, no matter how good it looks.. Do NOT eat the 5 lb block of Velveeta. I don't care if you have the munchies. Even if you're sharing it with your boyfriend! You will not crap for a month. I mean it. Don't say I didn't warn you.
  6. If the car you're in does get pulled over do NOT offer the cop a sip of your coke when he leans in the passenger window and says "What are you drinking there?"
  7. Punch guy in the back seat in the throat before he has a chance to ask the cop to turn off the flashers because "they are really f*ucking with my buzz, man".
  8. Never try to pray to the porcelain gods at a single man's house. Puke outside. Where you won't get hepatitis A.
  9. When you get stung by jellyfish at 2 am on the beach (illegally on the beach, I might add) do NOT allow other high friends to piss on your leg to 'neutralize' the venom. It doesn't help. And they remember that. For years. 10 years later in the grocery store of a town you no longer live in, they will come up and say.. "aren't you Red? Remember when I pissed on your leg?" (laugh laugh laugh) If you disregard this prior warning resist the impulse to bash them in the head with the can of cling peaches you're holding at the time.
  10. Really.. I mean it. No eyebrow waxing. No Velveeta. Period!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I'm asking for suggestions...

Originally uploaded by red clover.

Ok. James has dyslexia. This most of you know. We read.. alot. We spend alot of time on homework and additional work/reading/writing that I give him every night.

We are coming up on the standardized state testing for graduation from 1st grade.

We took the practice exams tonight. If I read the questions he does well. If he has to read everything he sucks donkey butt.

I'm at a loss as to what else I can do to help him improve his reading skills. We have educational PC games he plays. We read side by side. He reads aloud to me. He copies and/or writes sentences of his own creation... every other day at least.

Have any of you had any experience with dyslexia? What helped you/them, whoever.. learn and succeed?

(oh yeah, and that's our new lizard, named Zeus. James loves him. I love him. And yes, the kid always has his eyes closed in pictures. Damn the flash!)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A simple, boring day.

Originally uploaded by red clover.
Not much has been going on in my life lately, for which I'm grateful. However, it occurred to me today that I am in need of a life.

I took my son to the Flea market and we wandered around for most of the morning.

This afternoon while feeding the lizard his usual mix of veggies I noticed salt buildup around his nostrils. This is not unusual since this is how Uromastyx excrete salt.

It was while I was using a Q-tip moistened w/ distilled water to clean the salt out of a lizards nose that I realized I may be one of the most boring people alive today.

Oh well, I cant be riveting and thought provoking all the time.

Here's hoping your Sunday was fun.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Missing my beau

Today was one of those days were everything reminded me that he isn't here. No matter what I was doing I was thinking of his comments, his presence, what he would think or suggest.

It's difficult having the man you love be so damn far away. It's hard. I am strong. I can be patient. We both have our priorities in the right place. We are doing exactly what we must do. We are just doing it 3500 miles apart for the moment. Damn the distance.

I need to see him again, touch him, bring him his coffee, make him laugh.

Phone calls aren't the same.

I need him with me.

I am strong.

I love.

I wait.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Monday revisited on Wed

Ugh. It's 7 am. It's piss pouring out of a boot raining. Now that my hair has been cut it's curly. Can you say Fro?

Today after work I must:
Buy some slacks. I have one pair of work pants now. It's cold. I hate wearing dresses when it's cold/rainy.

Must buy shoes. My one pair of black shoes have attained that grandma/wicket witch look. I've had them a while. Sue me. I hate shopping for shoes.

Look, but probably not find, something to get for my love for valentines/his birthday.

Call the gas company and give them 6 shades of hell about why I don't have gas when the bill is paid in full.

********* Update 5:00 pm ***********

Im not doing any of that stuff. Give me 2 midol, a medium rare steak and a pack of m&m's and no one gets hurt!

Aunt Flos in town. Damn her!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I love listening in..

Today during a break I over heard a small group of women talking about their numbers. You know, number of lovers/sex partners/booty calls/sperm donors.. whatever.

Most were pretty banal. 2, 4, 1, 6 (she blushed) then.. .

One lady proposed rules.

#1. Bad performance is ample reason for selective memory.
If it wasn’t good, It didn’t happen.

#2. If the need wasn’t met the deed didn’t happen.
She clarified that if she didn't orgasm it didn't count.

#3 Having sex with an ex while on vacation is inadmissible.
Doesn't count, and isn't cheating.

The other women were looking at her like the worlds biggest hussy. I was secretly laughing my ass off.

My cousin, Chris and I once started comparing numbers. I had to clarify what sex meant. I pulled a Bill Clinton. Is oral sex by one person to another person with no other interaction sex? And so on and so forth.

Chris gave up then. He stated .. "If you have to define sex before you start counting you've got me beat!" Not that it was a contest, just one of those odd ball conversations he and I have from time to time.

All of the above rules by that woman I consider sex. Hey honey, hate to break it to ya. It happened.

I've been around the block.. more than a few times. I own up to it. Just don't ask me for a number.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I now know how Moses felt

.. He wandered the desert for 40 years in search of the promised land, according to the Bible.

I left my house this morning at 9:30 in search of a hair cut for my son and me. I hit every strip mall in Macon. The fact that I also hit every yard sale I saw didn't have anything to do with the fact that NO salons are open on Sunday here.

In desperation I started asking women, any and all women, I came across if they knew ANYWHERE to get a hair cut on Sunday. It was then almost 2 pm. I'd used 1/2 a tank of gas in my epic like search for shears. I was despondent.

Finally at a Michaels craft store the clerk said, "Try the salon in Wal-Mart. They are open, it's where I always go" At that point I'm instantly critiquing her hair. Hmm style.. nameless. Split ends.. oh yeah, I haven't seen that many split ends since we did a group moon-ing in high school. I wasn't impressed.

I thought of 2 other strip malls and prayed to the gods of the blades a salon there would be open. Hell NO. Shit.. I was going to have to go to Walmart for a HAIRCUT.

Fine.. ok.. crap. Walmart on Sunday, at 3 pm, I'd rather wander the desert. However, I didn't have much choice since my son was starting to look like a sheep in serious need of a clipping. When we went in there was only one lady working. She'd just started doing someone's hair when we arrived.

I eavesdropped and determined the woman actually knew what she was talking about. Wow. I blatantly watched and listened as she finished up the other client. Then I made my son go first.. you know so I could back out if he ended up looking too much like Telly Savalas. She did a good job. She was very personable. She asked lots of questions to figure out exactly what I wanted for him.. and made it happen.

I let her cut my hair. It turned out very nice. I'm very pleased with it. So, if all else fails.. Try Walmart. You might get very very lucky. Or you might look like you used the flow-bee Good luck!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hypochondria: It's not just a hobby!

Originally uploaded by red clover.
It's a way of life for some. Enter my mother stage right.

Every year for as long as I can remember my mother has solemnly informed me she's not going to live to see another year.

It's her heart, liver, gallbladder, eyes, migraines, breasts, or uterus. If you can name a part it has been included in the "it's going to kill me" list at some point.

Web MD is the WORST thing in the universe for a hypochondriac. She now has even more ailments to choose from. And dear Lord, no matter what I tell her is wrong with me or my son she has or had the same thing.

I could call her and tell her I have blood shooting in a 6 foot arc from my eyes every 30 minutes and she will undoubtedly chirp in with "oh yes, I know what you mean, I had that just 3 days ago"

Now, any sensible person (insert hysterical laughter) would go the frickin doctor! But, nooo. That costs too much; her symptoms are never there when she gets to the doctor. Uh huh. Yeah. Sure ma.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Exes

Often I have strange dreams. Last night, in my dream, a line of women were outside my door. They were all new potential girl friends for my ex boyfriends. They wanted references!

God, I wish it was really like that. Interview a man's exes to find out why it didn't work before you get tangled up.

It was an interesting look back at my "long term" relationships, those lasting a year or more.

Ken aka James' dad: I couldn't tell this woman much, except the fact that I've not heard from him in 8 years. "What no child support? He doesn't call his son? No interaction at all?!?" she asked. My hysterical laughter said it all.

Mark: A good man. He cared about me and my son. He left me to be back in his daughters life. Nothing bad I could really say about Mark. Responsible, mature, volunteer fire fighter *rowr* GREAT butt. Snap him up honey!!

Psycho man: UGH!! RUN RUN RUN. I broke up with him. He called nonstop, came by non stop. I moved, changed my phone number, online ID, and car all in 3 wks. 2 years later he was still calling my mothers house looking for me. My brother finally told him I was killed in a car crash.

Barry: Funny, sincere, but have you met his kids? I honestly believed there was no such thing as a bad child, just bad parenting. My opinion was changed in that year. The best thing about Barry was his mom. I miss mom. Also a bit too clingy for me. When I ask you to go to the store for shampoo, it really isn't necessary for you to call me 3 times while your gone.

Michael: He is good... for someone else. He liked my kid, that was a big plus in his favor. He spit (often) and had breath that would knock a buzzard off a shit wagon. The major factors in our break up were problems that I discussed with him more times than I care to admit. He either wasn't listening or didn't care. Bye-Bye.

For the most part, the men in my past have been good men. They just weren't the men for me.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I'm bored...

So bored I went into yahoo chat. Into that 'other' room. Too asinine for me (which is saying something)

I'm so bored that I am .. going to go to bed. I know, I know, please hold back your gasps of disbelief and horror.

I, Red Renee Clover, am going to bed at eleven PM.

Please restart your pace makers and back away from the crime-stoppers hot line. It does happen occasionally... ok rarely. This is not a sign of the Apocalypse. I'm just really bored, and a tad bit tired.