I don't stop eating when I'm full. The meal isn't over when I'm full. It's over when I hate myself - Louis C. K.
I had breakfast with my favorite friend today.
We had just dropped off our 19 year old boys at the airport. They each had one backpack, a ball cap, and wanderlust. It has been a pleasure to watch them grow up together.
Back at our breakfast establishment, the day was heating to an uncomfortable 110 of Memphis degrees. We piled into a small booth with the rest of our family members. It only took about 60 seconds before our booth, surrounded by windows, became a humid terrarium. Sweating and struggling to breathe the heavy air, I ordered a hot coffee and a big breakfast smothered in gravy.
My friend and I began catching up on information.
"I stopped running. Did I tell you?"
I was shocked. She has been running almost as long as I have known her.
"I was running the other day and I said to myself, 'you are a grown ass woman...why are you doing this?' and then I stopped running, turned around and went home."
She did a freakin Forest Gump. She was running. She stopped. Went home. and she has not run since...
There are a few things I do that are becoming as hazardous as running in 115*, humidity soaked weather. Eating until I want to die is one of them.
Can I be like my friend? just stop? just don't!
My friend gives me quotes every time I talk to her. Some are smart words to chew on...NO! no more chewing!...some are smart words to encourage change and some are words to make me laugh.
After our breakfast order not coming out quite like we ordered, I said, "well, you don't come to Perkins for..."
My friend blurted, "EASTER!"
what the what?
Laughter is very valuable to me.
(Photo: my oldest sister looking like she is about to vomit her first cake)
Addendum to original post: my mom said that my sister took a bite of her cake and the tornado sirens went off! Priceless expression.
Well, I'd say that settles it, wouldn't you? Unless Willie would like to explain how Mary's nickel fell out of his pocket. -Eva Beadle 1975
Every year, around this time, the Memphis Heat wraps its heavy arms and legs around me like a giant toddler, begging me not to move forward. I walk across job sites as if I am neck deep in water, fully clothed in work pants, sleeved shirt, and hard toe boots. It's difficult to walk straight, with my hair in constant battle with the hard hat, trying to push it off my head.
By 9am, Ms. Beadle is on one of my shoulders whispering, "why did you not go back to teaching? most of your schools were air conditioned, teaching came natural to you, and you could wear light weight and cute clothes, and you had your summers off and...."
On my other shoulder is the Dog Whisperer, "why are you not still doing behavior therapy out of your home? You loved creating behavior techniques and seeing success. You could still cook, clean, tend to the family, AND make some money at your first love and passion!"
Then my pity party is interrupted by the current job.
New guy, I haven't seen before, yells across the lot, "Hey Maam! I have all the equipment piled over here, for you to inspect! This is mine." He chunks a heap of harnesses and lanyards at my feet. "and this is my dad's" He motions to a heap laying on the welding table.
Hot and working on a migraine, I pick up one of the harnesses and hand it to the mid-20s kid who, in my opinion, might have had a bit of a disrespectful tone to his manner. He took the harness and with a furrowed brow said, "Thanks darlin, but it's your job to inspect them, honey."
My Teacher-of-the-ones-that-need-behavior-modifications Gear kicked in. It actually went 0to90 in 5 seconds, but I quickly switched all the gears to 'start'.
"My name is Margaret." I shook his hand.
"I am old enough to be your mother. So, to you, I am not Darlin' or Honey."
He still looked confused but I continued, "and my job is to coach YOU on any topic that will enable you to do your job efficiently, completely, and to the best of your ability."
For the next 10 minutes, I used visual teaching as I strengthened his auditory processing, I demonstrated the task and had him demonstrate it back to me, and then I listed only 3 points and had him repeat them back to me in his own words.
(Teaching mixed with behavior modifications)
Ms. Beadle and Cesar Millan smiled, patted me on the shoulders, and disappeared.
At this moment the supervisor who, much to my surprise, was the father of the new guy, walked up and gave me a friendly side-hug. We talked for a moment and joked around, as we always do. As we all three began to clean up the equipment, I gave 2 positive statements to the Supervisor:
1. "John really took initiative to demonstrate is knowledge on inspecting the equipment."
2. "It has been a pleasure talking to him. He has been very polite."
I casually shifted my eyes to John. The look on his face gave me a glimpse of what he might have looked like in elementary school years.
I continued, "You should be proud, Tom. He told me you are his father."
Unaware of the process of resetting John's behavior, Tom grinned and began telling a lively story. I look forward to his stories each week, but this one really amused me.
"Yeah, he is my son! but he has a different last name. When he was born, I ran like hell. His mother lived across the street from me and my wife."
I looked at John. He was grinning, "it's true! he ran 2 states away from me!"
The two of them happily slapped each other on the back and laughed as they took turns telling a story about a boy who grew up fatherless, a father that ran "like hell" from 2 more women and now 24 years later, they are working side by side. Father proud, as he bragged on the skilled welder his son had become and son proud, as he bragged on how skilled a welder his father is.
When I was in elementary school, I read The Diary of Anne Frank.....or I saw the movie. Either way, it started a thought scenario that I have replayed and reworked and re-planned, in my mind, for the past 35 years.
Would I have helped the Jewish people? Would I have risked everything to hide them? to transport them to a safer place? Would I have vocally stood up for them in protest? Would I stay out of it all, go on with my life, but never persecute them myself? Would I have been involved in the politics of the day, educated myself on all the issues, and made a decision? been swayed by a platform? been swayed by other's passions?
I, being one that likes excitement whether it is good or bad, believed that no matter what the other answers were, I would hide them. I would work with others to get them to safety, under the cover of night, or secret passages.
When I met Jeff's family, they lived in a house that had a hollow area in the wall. You could crawl through a cabinet to a small area in the inner wall. "That's where I would hide them", I thought.
When we bought our house, we had to put in a trap door in a closet, to get to plumbing under the house. "That's where I would hide them", I thought.
--fantastical scenarios to ponder because it was history, not present life--
I have surrounded myself with acquaintances, friends, family, and strangers that have opinions and beliefs that are very diverse. I now am asking myself the same questions with which I began this post. I would like to educate myself on the facts, but I am having a hard time finding sources that are listing the facts, without being laced with someone's or some organization's opinions.
I can not look at social media without being saddened (not disappointed necessarily) by my friends and family that are supporting Trump's actions and quick-to-speak words.
I do not agree with Trump AT ALL.
I do not agree with the current democratic platform.
But I am not neutral.
The social media posts, the news, and bandwagons all seem bitter and more of a verbal match between passionate views that may not be taking time to think on the facts, or educate themselves verses listening to other human beliefs.
People are ignorant. I am ignorant.
At this current time, I must put politics aside, because after much thought I have an opinion about how I will proceed in what our future might hold...
I am NOT neutral. I will not sit by quietly and stay out of the mess.
I will stand up for humans. I will hide humans. I will work to secretly transport humans to a safer place. However, my words are all over the internet so my trap door may be the first place they look now.
I think this written expression, of my thoughts today, is mostly to say:
If anyone needs food, clothes, shelter, transportation, a safe harbor, a voice; then I will act. I will not let my feelings, opinions or beliefs keep me from helping a human, any human:
refugees, non-whites, whites, immigrants, poor, rich, genius, ignorant, racists, lazy, hardworking, men, women, children, unclean, obsessively clean, annoying, pleasant, offensive, diplomatic, blonds, balding, mullets, curly frizz hair, bad breath, drunks, addicts, squeaky clean, nerds, personal space invaders, attention seekers, wall flowers, loners......
I will show you care and love, but I am MAZ so I might hand you a toothbrush, ask you to be quiet for one minute, step back 6 inches, or whisper the truth to you, while you are sleeping.
On a rare serious note, I ask that my readers be careful which bandwagon on which to jump, think before you speak or post or "like", and above all... please ponder:
-think of a type person that you think is awful or lowest of the low or dangerous.....you are standing right beside that person, not over them-
(I will not respond to comments for or against, but its a free country so type what you must)
You may remember from last year, but I received a smartass gift from my sheet metal guys, which may or may not have been given in kind. I, however, LOVED it.
After several years of seeing everyone receive desk name plates from sheet metal, I got a bit cranky. Finally, when a guy THAT I HIRED got one, I became very vocal.
"whyyyy is everyone getting one but me????"
to which they replied, "your name is too freakin long"
After several back and forth arguing, I left for Christmas vacation. When I returned after Christmas, I had a brand new extremely and sarcastically long nameplate on my desk.
See it above with a normal size nameplate for reference?
I could not have been happier!!! I got a nameplate AND it was given in the sarcastic humor that I love.
a week or so ago, my coworkers were given sheetmetal Christmas trees.
Everytime I found one, I would text a picture of it to sheet metal with a "really? This guy gets one and not me?"
Today, the leader of the sarcastic Christmas cheerful giving to MAZ, came into my office and made a presentation, "on behalf of sheet metal, we would like you to have this" and he held out his fisted hand. I raised my open hand, apprehensively, to receive my gift.
I absolutely LOVE my tiny sarcastic sheet metal Christmas tree!!!!
(see it above next to the tree everyone else received)
I love my job and the guys that make it great!!!
One after another, individuals did not do their jobs. Lazy. 1/2 assing.
I became very irritated and grumpy.
As I was voicing my frustration to a coworker, a fly dive bombed the middle of my forehead. Not once. Not twice. But about 5 times. I looked at my coworker, narrowed my eyes, and in a low growl I said through gritted teeth, "this fly. Is. going. to die..".
At that moment, the fly flew up my nostril.
My eyes widened and immediately began to water. My voice changed into Moaning Myrtle's as I squealed and jumped up and down, losing all composure, "ITS IN MY NOSE ITS IN MY NOSE AAAAH ITS IN MY NOSE"
I pinched my nostrils and felt it crawl closer toward my eye. I ran down the stairs and into the bathroom, laughing like a hyena.
I blew my nose and rushed the tissue to the poor coworker, that I am sure - did not want to see my boogers.
"you are going to see my boogers, but you have to see this fly", I excitedly presented the tissue in front of his face.
I slowly and methodically began to unfold the tissue, careful not to expose my boogers.
As I peeled back the last wrinkle, the fly FLEW around our faces and exited stage left.
The adrenaline replaced my anger, but I feel like the fly laid babies up in there. It's been several hours and I still feel the need to sniff air OUT of my nose.
I have a few memories from the TN apartment, to which we moved, from FL: I saw Santa fly by my window, my mom made gravy that came to life, and my sisters found my life fortune, in pennies, under my bed. All 3 of these truly happened when I was 3 years old, in an apartment, in Red Bank, TN. Remind me to tell you those stories another time.
My classicMAZ stories begin around 1976-77, in a little house on Easton Avenue, Red Bank, TN. The driveway was so steep, you could not see over the dashboard, as mom or dad drove into the carport. The house was so tall, I would tire walking up the steps to the front door, and the house was so big, I was scared to sleep in the dark. Today, on Google Earth, I believe I found the house where my stories begin. Much has changed in 40 years.
I remember being excited to play in our backyard woods, and in the amazing carport that had a "rich people" laundry room storage closet. After being a family of 5, in the apartment, we would now dwell in a palace.
The day we began life on Easton Avenue, I was standing in the front yard. If there were bushes, they certainly were not overgrown and concealing what lurked in the house to the left. I bent over to pick up my green "Beth". "Beth" was a ball my mom had bought me at the grocery store, drew a face on it, and then presented me with my new friend. I named her "Beth". In later years, others would use my mother's genius idea, but she would never receive credit.
As I picked up Beth, the earth began to shake and the most horrifying red monster scorched my face with his hot breath and slapped me backwards down the hill with his sloppy wet tongue.
This would be my last day in the yard on Easton Avenue.
I never played in that magnificent backyard. I would stare out of our patio door, dreaming of the adventures I wanted to have and then THUD Jason would appear on the sliding glass door, sending terror through my body.
Mom said he just wanted to play, but I knew he wanted to eat me.
A few times, I would look out a side window, or cling to my mother screaming, but I secretly watched a red monster perform an amazing feat with his owner......even my dad. Jason put his paws on my dad's shoulders and stood up.
Eye to eye, Jason would dance with my dad.
Over the next 18 months, 5 stories would unfold that would forever change me.
Already dreading the depression that comes with trying on bathing suits, I grabbed up several different styles and headed to the dressing room. I wasn't satisfied with my choices because the styles and colors that caught my eye, we're not made to hold any sort of body parts, let alone an abundance of body.
Furthermore...the prices! I don't think I am alone in needing a different size bathing suit every year:
10- the year that I exercise daily, eat small sensible snacks throughout the day and sleep well.
12- the year I exercise several times a week, enjoy some tasty food, and lose a few nights of sleep
14- the year my exercise is purely focused on my brain, I live for burgers and bourbon, and I forget what sleep is
While searching the racks for a classy, affordable suit that could hold the MAZ, I found words escaping my lips at great speed and volume, "where the heck do you put your.....where are the.....what! EIGHTY DOLLARS ON SALE?"
I quickly decided I would not pay for a full suit, a tank suit top would do. I had swim skirt bottoms at home.
After slingshotting one top under the stall and on the feet of the lady next door, putting one very strappy top on backwards and creating a turkey-in-the-string-wrap effect, and then seeing the the stripes on one of the tops were indeed NOT supposed to be bigger in sporadic areas, I finally settled on a simple black top. It was $59, on sale for $41, and only half a suit, but I decided I would shut my eyes and make the purchase. I did have a $25 gift card gifted to me at Christmas that I could use.
The sale discount registered, the gift card was swiped...."your total is $7.61."
This immediately became the happiest shopping moment of my life!
Several weeks ago, I asked everyone to send me pics of them and Taco Bell, as a virtual graduation party for Jack. I am very thankful to those that participated! It was fun to receive these and I am excited for Jack to get to see them for the first time in this post!!
So without further ado.....showing the love from Knoxville to Los Angeles
THE PARTY IS OVER.....
Jack has left the bell.......until he gets hungry again
Last night, I was at a graduation where I knew a few people, but not many. At the reception, I, as usual, found a comfortable area to stand. I was out of the way, could be close to the few people I knew, but not up in their conversation with the other parents of the graduates, and I could observe the behaviors of all in the room (a creepy yet fascinating hobby of mine).
As I was talking to a good friend, a lady pops up and is visibly excited, as if she had seen someone famous. My brain and ears caught up with my eyes and I heard her saying. "Oh my gosh! It's you! I read your stuff on Facebook. You are ClassicMAZ!"
I was the celebrity sighting.
I felt my face redden but I was amused and flattered. I enjoyed meeting her and then I turned away as some of the kids had gathered at the front of the room to sing to the graduates. I heard the lady I just met talking to my friend, behind me.
"oh. I want a picture! I am going to try to sneak a selfie." I thought she was talking about trying to sneak a pic of her graduate daughter. I turned to see what she was talking about and her back was turned to me as she fumbled with her phone. I heard her excitedly say, "I'm going to sneak a selfie." My friend grinned at me. I realized She was trying to sneak a selfie with ME!
This was all very amusing to me. I snuck my head very close behind her.....and 'photo bombed' her secret selfie.
It was a pleasure to meet you, Terri White! You made my night. You are no longer a secret follower, we are friends.
but my friends will tell you, I am not as fun, happy and outgoing in real life, as I seem to be on social media.
Strangers, followers, friends and family: you have 9 days to get your #ziggy2016 Taco Bell pictures to me!!! -text, or @classicmaz fb/Instagram/Twitter
Tonight was a special time to honor Jack as he has completed mandatory education and is now free to begin the real education as he masters lessons and knowledge that will define his character and future.
After dinner, we drove by his new home- the newest dorm on campus. gotigersgo
Tonight did not consist of gowns, tassled hats, or speeches. It may even feel like a normal night of the week, but I hope Jack feels loved, honored and appreciated.
At the end of the night, the school administration and staff celebrated losing half their student body.....
I am proud of Jack's hard work, and for putting up with my decision to homeschool him.
HAPPY GRADUATION JACK! 2016
Taco Bell pics are still wanted!! You have 11 days left!