Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "One can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Saturday, August 11, 2018
|1988 Porsche 911|
|1988 Porsche 924 GT|
|1988 Mazda Miata|
When I was younger, I used to dream of driving a Porsche 911 or a Porsche 924 GT. I ended up with a Nissan Sentra and went happily on my way. In college, I loved and wanted a Mazda Miata. I test drove one in 1989 with my fraternity brother Steve. It was like driving a bucket of bolts, felt every bump! But it was really fun to ride. I went home from college and still drove that Nissa Sentra. BUT I had those posters of the Porsches on my walls throughout college!
|1987 Nissan Sentra|
Mom always LOVED the Honda's. She had an Accord for years and then when that died, got herself a brand new Civic. When she passed, she left the Civic to my sister Sheryl. Love that. 💖
|1987 Honda Accord|
I moved into Philly and didn't have a need for a car so I didn't get one until my late 20s. I've since owned mostly economical vehicles for work: a Ford Escort, a Saturn station wagon, a small Toyota Tacoma, and now a Toyota Camry.
|My 2006 Camry, still going! :)|
Now is the time I have to start saving that $100.00 a month towards a future vehicle. I need to be honest with myself. It's gonna happen one day. She's gonna run her last ride. Repairs are still few and far between but I just found out that she will need a new converter pipe. UGH. Luckily, it can be held off for a month or two.
|2018 Toyota Camry|
When I look for a new vehicle, I really wanna look for something I want. I'm 48 and have never bought a vehicle on what I wanted in terms of style. I have picked ones which were economical. I mean, sure... I'm not gonna be dopey and still take gas mileage and commuting into account as factors. But honestly and truly, I want to buy one in which I say, I've ALWAYS wanted that car!
|2018 Toyota Tacoma|
I also go back and forth about a 4WD or AWD vs 2WD. Living in Skook County, ya really need something for the winter snow to get around. I may settle on that Tacoma just yet!
Blogger's note: I claim no ownership of these pics! They are borrowed from online and are for representation purposes ONLY. Thank you, The Management...
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Just this past week, a young friend on Facebook was contemplating taking his own life. I had seen the post 2 hours after all of it started to go down. He had posted a "good-bye" message which had understandably freaked out and scared many people. His close friends began immediately reaching out to him. Luckily, and happily, his friends got in touch with his family and talked him out of it.
It was shocking and saddening but became heartwarming to see all of these people (most that I don't know) come together and work together to try and save this man and get him some emotional help. It worked, they contacted his family, and he is here today. Hopefully he is getting the emotional support he needs and deserves. Today, he started his day off with a message on Facebook: "Good Morning." I liked it and thought to myself, Yes it is, because you are still with us today my friend!
Most people have difficult weeks here and there but no where near what this guy has been going through. Blue periods stem from insecurity, inadequacy and the fear of failure. One gets withdrawn and pulls into themselves. Those weeks, you begin questioning what you are doing and can become rather reclusive.
One still gets up and goes to work. Gotta pay the bills. You avoid people at work though. You wait to walk in so as to avoid contact. Go to lunch 5 minutes later, again just to avoid contact. But you get through it. And soon enough one gets through it and you are back to having good days.
But those with clinical, or major depression don't have many good days if at all. They hurt emotionally. It just isn't a blue period. It affects their mood, their sleep, their appetite. One may have significant weight loss, lose interest in activities which they once loved, and have feelings of hopelessness and feelings of suicide. Learn to recognize the symptoms and signs in yourself as well as others.
My young friend had so many people who reached out to him. He acknowledged appreciatively how many people cared. Sometimes you just need those affirmations to get through it to the next day. But he may need more help than what people realize. And there is nothing wrong with that. Now I don't know his exact situation except for his public hurt. I am generalizing as I feel we need to be aware that there are people around us who are in emotional pain and need help.
As WebMD.com states, "treatment with counseling, medication, or both is a key to recovery." Recovery and treatment from clinical depression does not happen overnight. It may become a life-long commitment to dealing with it.
When I have blue periods, I know I'll get out of them. Usually it just takes cuddling from one of the cats, a beautiful drive, or something which makes me laugh. It may just be a bad day and tomorrow will be better.
Others may be having more than just a bad day. If you see someone who is struggling, don't blow it off. Maybe they do need just a little pep talk to lift their spirits but maybe it is something more and they need a more professional type of help. But in the meantime, a hug or kind and reassuring words do wonders.
Other numbers which may be helpful:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 800-273-8255
Depression Hotline: https://www.psychguides.com/guides/depression-hotline/ 866-236-5127
National Hopeline Network: www.imalive.org 800-SUICIDE
***Blogger's note: Not my pic.
Monday, July 30, 2018
|(LINK Suncoast Pic)|
My second shortest job lasted just shy of one week. It was at that extinct dinosaur of a video store, Suncoast Video at the old Echelon Mall in Voorhees, NJ. http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/echelon_mall.html
The year was 1990, I was 20, and the Star Wars Trilogy 3 VHS tape collection was just released. I was and still AM a total Star Wars fan! I was in a word, ecstatic!
Being a poor college student, I could only wander between Sam Goody and Suncoast video and dream of what movies I wanted to buy! The Star Wars Trilogy was at the top of the list. But how to get it? I had finished my sophomore year at Rutgers with just barely enough gas money to get me from New Brunswick, NJ back to my hometown of Wenonah, NJ.
Back from college for the summer, I immediately plotted on how I would be able to purchase the Trilogy. Dad asked me if I was going to get a summer job and I was said, maybe, I'm not sure, perhaps, something easy with lots of money. It was the summer after my sophomore year and honestly, I just wanted to chill and enjoy myself.
OK back to the plotting... how to get a summer job and buy the Trilogy. I considered doing yard work for money, NOPE. I wanted to work in a fun place with people my own age in AIR CONDITIONING! Suddenly a bright light bulb went off above my head. Why not get a job where I was could get the Star Wars Trilogy, get an employee discount on the Trilogy AND work in air conditioning? The local mall!
I immediately drove down in our 1987 red Nissan Sentra to the Suncoast video at the Echelon Mall and applied for a retail position. They called two days later and scheduled me for an interview. I met the manager, a very tall and pretty gal in her upper 20s named Daniele. She was gung-ho and 100% Miss SUNCOAST VIDEO. OK I thought, I gotta shmooze this gal...
|(Not my pic)|
Daniele met me the first day and brought me around the store. After a 30 minute meaningless tour of where the horror movies were, the drama, the comedy, the romance, and also something called the classics, she put me on the floor to begin just helping people.
30 minutes later of me hiding behind the fantasy/sci-fi videos just drooling over the Star Wars Trilogy VHS box set, some kid walked up, "Where are the horror movies?" "I dunno, over there," rolling my eyes and pointing towards the musicals. "OK, thanks man."
After another couple minutes, someone else needed help! UGH! Such needy people!!! It was some older lady. "Young boy, can you tell me where the documentaries are?" I replied, "I don't even know what those are!" I shuffled her off to the classics.
Daniele came over an hour later and asked how everything was going, "Great!" I exclaimed. "I'm helping lots of people!" "OK," she replied. I knew she didn't buy it. I really didn't care because my next question was the all important one.
"Um, Daniele, I have a question. What's my employee discount? Do I get one?"
"Yeah, of course! 30%. Do you see something you want?"
"Uuuuh, I dunno, I'm just wondering," (knowing full well that I was gonna get that VHS box set on my first paycheck.) "And when do we get paid?"
"Well Marc, you'll get a smaller paycheck because it's not a full pay period, but we'll pay you on Friday."
"Oh that's OK, I was ... just wondering about that too."
"OK, if you have any questions, lemme know." Daniele retreated to the office to work on something involving boring paperwork.
Someone else came up and asked if I knew if they had any movie posters and I replied that I didn't work there. He pointed out that I had a name-tag on (damn that name-tag) and I told him that I kept forgetting that I worked there since it was my first day. I directed him over to the movie t-shirts instead.
The week passed so slow with me each day constantly misdirecting people in the store. I finally worked that Friday eagerly awaiting my paycheck. When Daniele gave it to me, I noticed it had been written on a bank in the mall. She confirmed that I could cash it on my break if I wanted to. As soon as that clock hit 3:30pm, I bolted out of the store and hit the bank for some cold hard cash.
Coming back from break, I had 5 minutes left to buy the VHS set. I plunked down the cash and of course made sure I got that all important 30% discount. One of the sales gals put it in a Suncoast Video bag and I deposited it in the employee break room until the end of the day. I couldn't wait for the shift to end! I sped home as quick as my little red Nissan Sentra could take me.
I barely ate dinner and that evening watched a marathon of the first Star Wars: A New Hope, then The Empire Strikes Back and finally Return of the Jedi VHS tapes in one sitting late into the evening. I called Daniele on Saturday and informed her that I wouldn't be coming into work on Sunday. She asked me if I were sick and I stated "Sorry, I misspoke. I won't be coming back into work at all."
We had a brief conversation on the reasons why: I didn't think retail was for me, I bought the Star Wars Triology, and I didn't like helping people. She told me I sucked and hung up on me.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
So I began my first shift and was ordered into the backroom. The manager was this twenty something German accented dude named Karl or Klaus or whatever who proceeded to rip me up and down about the clothes that I wore to my first day. Now REALIZE I was a RUTGERS student. I wore a Rutgers sweatshirt to my first day as I had not been given any other directive and DUH!!!! WE WERE ON THE RU CAMPUS!
Karl or Klaus directed me rather caustically to handle the front. Um.. what was I supposed to do? He stated in rather blunt English, "Handle the customers!" and walked away. OK, that was specific enough. People came in and I welcomed them to Benetton. NOPE apparently I was wrong.
I replied, "Well, I am welcoming them into the store...."
The brusque German stated, "You SHOULD be offering them options for clothing!!!!"
"OK, I will try harder. Um, it's my first day, remember?"
He turned quickly and marched away without saying anything. It was rather sudden and I was a little taken aback. But I still thought, what an asshole!
I replied, "OK, give me something to wear and I'll change into it."
Karl/Klaus snickered and said, "NO. We don't give, you buy."
"What??? I can't afford these clothes!? That's why I got a part time job in the first place! I can't afford anything!"
"We will allow you to pay for them over time," he brusquely countered.
"But what am I gonna do? Wear the same pants and sweater for the entire semester until I can afford to pay them off?" I exclaimed.
"Well you certainly cannot wear that," snorted KK gesturing to my Rutgers sweatshirt and acid-washed jeans.
"Are you kidding me?! You know what??? I'm DONE! I hate your crappy clothes. They are scratchy, uncomfortable and I HATE folding your ugly sweaters! I'm outta here!!"
The last thing I heard was Karl/Klaus/KK gasp LOUDLY as if he were shocked that someone FINALLY told his ass off! You would've thought I insulted Mother Teresa. I didn't wait for his reply. I marched right out of that store proudly in my Rutgers sweatshirt and my acid-washed jeans, never looking back.
The next week, I got a job in shipping and packing at the official Rutgers Bookstore next door. I worked for some old gay dude Alan in shipping and receiving who ordered me around left and right. I loved the guy. He was an awesome respectable boss and I never gave him props until now. HE WAS AWESOME. I'll never forget Alan. He was just SO GOOD at his job and I'll say it again, an awesome boss!
Benetton closed within the next couple years due to lack of business. I can't imagine why...
Monday, July 16, 2018
|Family Vacation Pics!|
|Holiday Isle Resort, Florida Keys|
#2. My family was traveling up to Boston to visit my Dad's friend Larry. We ended up meeting for dinner at a French café. I was 6 or 7. Nothing appealed to me on the menu. I insisted on eating French onion soup. It came out but was way too salty for me. I hated it. My meal that night was just a French baguette. One lonely French baguette.
#3. My family was traveling in our Country Squire station-wagon up to Mesa Verde, the ancient Anasazi Cliff Dwellings in Colorado at an altitude of 7000 feet. The road up is was very treacherous at that time. I was 7 or 8 at the time and screaming my head off because there were no guardrails at that time! The road meandered up 7000 feet around switchbacks with the cliffs dropping off only a couple feet off the road! My parents put me in the back trunk area of the station-wagon and covered me in the summer heat with a thick woolen blanket as I continued to scream my head off.
The torture continued through the drive up 7000 feet to the Cliff Dwellings. We made it up to the top of the mesa and I survived. I saw Mesa Verde and apparently stepped onto the "four corners" spot where one goes to step onto four states at once. I don't remember anything about it. ALL I remember is being covered by a hot woolen blanket in the hot summer heat in that station-wagon screaming my head off.
Mom confidently strode into a pub right on Bourbon Street commenting to Dad, "This looks like a nice place Bob ..." and then gasped. I looked up and there was a fully naked woman dancing on top of the bar. Mom had walked us into a strip club!!! I looked up and down the bar and there were breasts all over the place, several sets! With the right hook and speed of a professional fighter, Mom swung her hand down over my eyes and dragged my brother and I out of the bar.
#8. The same year, after Walt Disney World, we visited my Dad's cousin Bob and his wife Aileen in Kissimmee, Florida. They were my Dad's age at that time, in their 50's. Their home was SO modern, lots of Asian antiques. The rooms were arranged around a central courtyard. Very modern, very chic, very sophisticated.
|Vacation Pics 3!|
|Princess Grace's Ocean City home, NOT the one we gawked at!|