howl o ween

halloween was always one of those nights we spent as a family, though i'm completely sure i'm the one who loves it most...

here in my area, though township laws now govern it, the tradition of trick-or-treating remains strong. in our rural neighborhood if you dare entertain the howling beasts begging for a treat your porch lights must be on from 6pm to 8pm.

i must add here that porch lights are not only an indication of participation but a necessity because complete darkness falls by half past 6.

so on went our light.

and wait we did.

you see, since we lived 500 feet into the woods on an unlit dead end gravel road the little goblins didn't often come to our door, choosing instead to howl in more populated well lit communities. so, instead, we finally opted to take our little gremlins from house to house on those spooky unlit roads to scream for treats.

one particular year, we walked across a yard at the cross streets toward a small cement stepped porch that was illuminated by one tiny light and our two young howlers scampered up the steps and belted out;

"Trick or Treat!"

the door opened and the giver scooped candy from a bowl.

but as she did so out of the night came a lone towering figure.

this figure was 7' tall, faceless, and silent. it wore a black hooded robe which billowed about it giving every appearance that he/she/it was floating toward the step.

it stopped just short of the steps revealing a sickle in it's right hand and it's left arm was silently extended toward the giver revealing skeletal forearm and hand in which it gripped a small black bag.

a treat was dropped into it's bag and it silently floated back into the night never to be seen again.

we stood there struck with awe, but also with fear - and a question for which we still have no answer;

was this a mere trick or treater or had we actually encountered

The Grim Reaper?

trading cards

yesterday i had time to spare between appointments so i stopped at one of those "old stuff for cheap" stores to have a look around.

after all you know the saying; one man's junk is...

the store itself is old, poorly lit, and dusty, with aisles overly filled with random "stuff." i wasn't even sure where one was supposed to start.

so i began my hunt in the left front corner.

as i walked i wondered whether working my way from left to right is a habit that stems from learning to read.

there must be scientific proof from a highly subsidized government study out there somewhere. and then logic would then say that people in china always start at the right front...

pondering my logic - or lack thereof - i turned a corner.

i stopped short.

there on the floor a male sat cross legged with a suitcase balanced on his knees.

on top of the suitcase was an array of trading cards. more cards were swiftly being spread out and the spread continued on the floor around him.

i must have stood there in his space for a beat too long because his hands suddenly stopped shuffling the cards and he looked up.

red faced he said; "i bet you think it ridiculous for a 27 year old man to be sitting on the floor sifting through trading cards don't you?"

"actually no. farthest thing from my mind." i had noticed, however, that the cards were being spread from left to right. ;)

"it's just that i started collecting when i was a kid and there are now only four i need to complete the set and it's become an obsession."

"i'd help if i knew what you were looking for."

"thanks, but it wouldn't be the same if you found it."."

"i suppose not."

""don't know what i'll do with my time if i ever do find them. my entire life will probably be over.."

"i'm sure you'll find another quest."

"thanks. i hope so. happy shopping." he says. and i continue on my way.

two aisles further i hear him hoot. i yell back asking if he's found one of them.

"oh yeah!" he says. "the rarest one!"

i smile through the rest of my treasure hunt - which produced a tiny black treasure box - and wander toward the check out.

and there he is. only this time he's a little boy who fears the thing he wants will vanish before before he can get the money out of his pocket. change spills out onto the counter. i swear to you it was pennies and he was counting them in the light that beamed from his face. all one dollar and six cents worth.

"you want these in a bag?" the cashier asks.

"no ma'am, i want to carry them in my own two hands and look at them all the way to the car."

he turns from the register and sees me there.

"my life is now over." he says, still beaming. he starts to walk away and i note the spring in his step. he stops and turns back. "course i still have one album i lost that i've never been able to replace... "

William H wants his raisin bran

i went out for breakfast with my mr.

actually it was mid morning so but for a few advanced aged stragglers here and there the place was pretty empty.

while we waited for our breakfast to arrive a woman came in and sat a few tables from us. she only wanted water and she wanted it pronto! as in "i want water. i only want water. and i wanted it like yesterday! don't just stand there and wait for my order because there won't be an order! i just want water. get it? got it? good!"

wow! that was strange.

but it wasn't.

it got stranger.

a much older couple came in with a darling little pre-school aged girl and the waitress leads them to the table across from us. the little girl's great grandma says; don't sit us here. then she points to me and says;(as if she knows it's fact)"some people are very snooty. and they don't care for children at all."

double wow! (i had no idea she knew me that well)

next, a woman comes in and tells the waitress there will be 5 people and they'd like to sit at a specific table but they'll all need to use the bathroom first.

and, as the waitress sets the table for them one by one they head to the bathroom. and one by one they exit the bathroom, pass the table set for them and leave the restaurant.

what the hell? (even my mr. is now scratching his head and wondering if we should have checked the bathrooms before we ordered too)

meanwhile the woman who ordered water has decided she will have coffee but she wants it just so and served on a saucer and why don't they have dessert yet after all it IS ten o'clock already!

enter the final couple who is either extremely wealthy or just likes others to believe that they are. they don't even wait for the waitress to show them to a table they just choose one across the room and shout their order to her as they go.

"We both want coffee. black! one regular. one decaf." says the female. "he does not tolerate regular so put his in a very different cup so you know which one it is and DO NOT get it backwards!"
"DECAF! I MEAN IT!" says the male. "I DO NOT AND WILL NOT DRINK REGULAR COFFEE!"

and while the female tells the waitress what they want for breakfast; raisin bran with whole milk, i entertain the idea of the waitress bringing special highly caffeinated espresso blend in a very large very different cup for Mr. Rich...

but no, what she does bring back are two very different mugs and the news that they do not have raisin bran.

and suddenly the quiet little breakfast world ended for all of us.

i guess Mr. Rich really wanted his raisin bran too.

"JESUS H. CHRIST. IS IT MORNING? CHECK YOUR WATCH. I AM SURE IT'S MORNING. IS MORNING NOT THE TIME ONE EATS BREAKFAST? TELL ME THAT MUCH!"

"yes sir it is morning. and yes most people eat breakfast in the morning, though people who work third shift tend to eat b..."

he cuts her short: "WELL I DON'T WORK THIRD SHIFT! AND I WANT BREAKFAST AND I WANT RAISIN BRAN!"

"actually we don't serve any sort of cereal here."

"DO YOU SERVE BREAKFAST?"

"yes we do."

"IS CEREAL A BREAKFAST FOOD?"

"yes it is, but..."

"IF YOU SERVE BREAKFAST AND I WANT RAISIN BRAN I SHOULD BE ABLE TO ORDER RAISIN BRAN AND GET RAISIN BRAN! I AM DIABETIC AND... JUST GO TELL YOUR COOK TO ORDER RAISIN BRAN RIGHT NOW! PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO GET RAISIN BRAN! DO YOU UNDERSTAND OR ARE YOU AS DUMB AS YOU ARE BLOND?!?"

"yes, i understand sir, and i am very sorry we don't have raisin bran. i will however ask our cook to order it for you right away."

"DAMN STRAIGHT YOU WILL! AND HE'D BETTER ORDER IT TOO!"

by this time i'm thinking damn she must be a saint because i'd have surely lost my temper and my job four or five times already.

and then the sweet little blond waitress says;

"oh i'm sure he'll order it all right, but you realize that if he does we'll have to put it on the menu and give everybody a chance to order it and since you are insisting that it's a very popular item we may very well be out of it when you place your order....

she hesitates;

"gee, you know, i wish there was a way i could make sure we'd still have some in stock when you get here.

she sighs a heavy sigh and then a light bulb beams over her head

oh wait! i know! i've got it! i'll just get a big fat red marker and write your name on the box! what is your name?"

i'm giggling under my breath but i'm guessing he thought she was being sincere because he rattled off his first name.

William? okay William, and your last name?

he hesitates;

okay, just the initial then. H? good. William H it is. fantastic!!

and then she pretends to write on a huge imaginary box of raisin bran;

'THIS BOX OF RAISIN BRAN BELONGS TO WILLIAM H! DO NOT SERVE TO ANYONE ELSE!

he still doesn't catch on so she continues a notch louder;

'PLEASE NOTE; THIS IS WILLIAM H's BOX OF RAISIN BRAN SO NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE OTHER CUSTOMERS MAY WHINE, AND THEY WILL! YOU MUST TELL THEM WE ARE OUT OF RAISIN BRAN. EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW WE AREN'T!'

and then came the frosting on the flake;

'EVEN IF THEY PROCEED TO MAKE A FOOL OUT OF YOU IN FRONT OF EVERYONE IN THE RESTAURANT PLEASE SAVE THIS BOX OF RAISIN BRAN FOR WILLIAM H.'

and there he sat with his wife suddenly as quiet as the entire restaurant.

and the as smart as she was blonde waitress said;

now, William, is there anything else i can get you this morning?

lions and tigers and horror scopes. oh my!

according to InteractiveStars.com
my birth date specific horror scope reads like this:

Stimulating new horizons beckon, so don't let people you rely on make you feel you cannot stand alone. If you let go of something you once needed, but have now outgrown, you could find a whole new way of looking at the world this week. You have more options than you - or those you are involved with - now imagine. You will prove them wrong if you branch out, so don't postpone decisive action any longer.

ouch. my mister isn't going to like this one bit. . . .

The Over The Top Award


iDifficult presented me with this Award for having a blog that is a tiny bit
"Over the Top"

Though surely there are far more deserving than i so i thank you Kind Sir.

This award, much like the Honest Scrap Award i recieved from IndigoWrath, comes with instructions and a possible chain. [though i have not been instructed to present this award to someone else in order to keep it and oddly enough i have no one to present it to who isn't already holding it so it will rest here until i do.]

To qualify for this award one needs to answer the questions it comes with via one word answers.
Meaning, i need to think harder than i normally would because one word is never enough - unless, of course, it's that infamous "last" word. ;)

Here are the questions and, as mundane or enlightening as they may be, my answers:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Your hair? tangled
3. Your mother? religious
4. Your father? dead
5. Your favorite food? chicken
6. Your dream last night? odd
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? freedom
9. What room are you in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? daydreaming
11. Your fear? dementia
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home?
13. Where were you last night? dreamland
14. Something you aren't? judgmental
15. Muffins? Bagels?
16. Wish list items? always
17. Where did you grow up? haven't
18. Last thing you did? played
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pets? none
22. Your friends? true
23. Your life? interesting
24. Your mood? meloncholy
25. Missing someone? always
26. Vehicle? jeep
27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
28. Your favorite store? none
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? me
33. One place I go over and over? bathroom
34. One person who emails me regularly? indigo
35. Favorite place to eat? home

If you think your blog, or the blog of someone you know, qualifies for this "Over the Top Award" give me a nudge in that direction will you?

Freshlike. The most like Fresh?

i was in a pissy mood yesterday - okay. i lied.
I've been in a pissy mood all month.
okay year....

in any event i started sending complaint notes to companies whom i have recently purchased sub-par items from.

Freshlike was one of those companies.
After the umpteenth can of Green Beans i opened only to find the contents inedible, i took this photo:


I sent the photo with a note to Freshlike/Birdseye informing them that these were the types of beans we were instructed to throw out when we grew and canned our own and had i wanted sub-par green beans i would have chosen to purchase a far less expensive brand.

They sent this note back:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. The product you are inquiring about is no longer produced by Birds Eye Foods. The current owner of Freshlike canned products is Allen Canning. If you would like to follow up with Allen Canning directly, please feel free to contact their Consumer Relations department at 1-800-234-2553.
Sincerely,
Consumer Relations
Birds Eye Foods
010146909A

So i look up Allen Canning to send them a note and what do i find?

Something far worse than i thought i'd gotten:


These people were told that because their foods were processed at a very high temperature they were sanitary and therefore edible.  Um....

Then again, but for the dead rat, these beans look better than mine did, don't you think?

My guess is that things have changed a lot since this incident in 2007

- And not for the better.