The Bucket List…..

I want to be the girl in this video….travelling across the world, uninhibited, throwing caution to the wind.  Chances are, the likelihood of this happening is akin to a camel poking its head through a needle, and then realizing he still has to get his body through it.

I love, love, love to travel.  It’s just that we have no extra moolah, and what we do have goes to silly things like food, vet visits and electric bills.  I don’t have a bucket list in all actuality, but here is a sampling of things I would like to do before I leave this planet:

I would love to go to Ireland, in search of my ancestors.  If I do go to Ireland, I will be tempted to drink an ale with the kin folk-you know, raise up a glass to the country that turned us out-I hear they’re very folksy and welcoming, but let’s face the facts, I would want to live there, or perhaps petrify in one place, sitting at the pub, drinking Guiness, and singing the songs of my people.

Big Sur was a big draw, until I read about Bohemian Grove.  With our luck, we would find the wrong place at the wrong time, and I apologize, but becoming a blood sacrifice for the elite in this world?  Let’s just say I have no time for the big, wooden statue of Baphomet, and I don’t like people telling me what to do.

Hawaii was big on my “list” at one point, and now I see the error of my ways.  The fat faced dictator from HELL has threatened their peace, and I don’t want to spend my whole vacation in an underground bunker.

And lastly, there was Sea World.  Yes, I wanted to ride the dolphins with abandon, you know, be that girl: the one who never stops talking about her relationship with a fifty year old she met out in California, and then you come to find out it was a sea mammal.  No thanks.

So for now?  I’ll stay in this sleepy little town of horse and buggies, biting flies the size of Texas, and more cow manure than you can shake a stick at.


Stranger Danger

I was reading my bible the other day, and the scripture about not being of this world, or worldly, if you prefer, hit me like a ton of bricks.  From very early on in my life, I have stood out, in pretty much every venue of my life.  As a child, I would pack my green suitcase and travel the neighborhood, trolling for adults (not children, they pissed me off with their weird Barbie dolls and tea parties) who would dare to “come and play with me.”  I can only imagine what they were thinking, when they answered the door and looked down upon the oddity standing in front of them.  Chubby, red curls and not a shred of inhibition-I would  prance into the home of unsuspecting, stay at home mothers , open my attaché, (full of odd pens, crayons and doll heads) and ask them to make me chocolate chip cookies.  This worked about 85% of the time, and to be sure this was done to appease the weirdo and get her the hell out of dodge.)

I would go to the bar in Avalon, NJ with my father-when we could sneak away from mom-sit with dad, eating clams and drinking Shirley temples, playing Mr. Bojangles on the jukebox as many times as my stash of quarters allowed it.  I was 5 years old.  As I grew, my mother would go to these random thrift stores and buy the strangest outfit she could find, then proceed to argue with my until I finally caved and wore it to school.  The stand out?  A purple, velvet set of knickers with a poufy top and cameo at the neckline.  The white lace boots up to my knees added to the hilarity…….but my peers at Upper Merion Junior H.S. didn’t get the joke.  They gawked, pointed, and called me names until I cried.  I believe my courage began developing way back then, in spite of the meanies, I grew weirder by the hour, and to this day I am thankful……….

I have never, ever followed the fashion scene, (I am dead serious when I say I am only now, at the age of 56, learning how to put on makeup) and my outfits have been raising eyebrows for decades.  I care not what others think, never have, never will-and somewhere in the mix I suppose I owe  my lack of inhibition to Mary Lou, my mother and fashionista extraordinaire.  She went to a dress shop to design her own clothing, and I have to say that she was profoundly beautiful………but she was ahead of her time, she was ahead of my time for crying out loud.

Just the other day, while trying to avoid the dreaded tick bite, I put on my grey long underwear, hiking boots, camo shorts and gardening hat, then proceeded to the local grocery store where I turned heads and caused more than one shopper to slam her cart into the food displays.  I walk blithely to the tune of my own accordion, immune to the whispers and laughter.  I have been told by friends, and enemies alike, that “Only you could pull that off, Michele….”  I never try to be a fashion success, yet my style impresses more people than it offends.  And to this day, I don’t get it.  I am 5 feet tall in stocking feet, have blonde hair down to my waist, and even on a good day, well….my husband usually has to carry me to the truck because my shoes are bought at the Humane Society Thrift Store-it has never been of any consequence to me how the shoes fit, as I am a size 5 1/2 and finding any footwear not of the girls’ department is a total coup.

Another quirk I have?  If I pick something out of my closet (say a dress I’ve had since my freshmen year at Villanova, circa 1979) I am going to wear it whether it fits or not.  Just last week, after purchasing last year’s Vera Wang at Kohl’s with my 30% off coupon, I stood there stumped and provoked, as I tried to figure out how the hell to put it on.  It was a three-part debacle, copper and black sequins cascading down the front.  I finally took my scissor to it, and voila-right over my head it went.

I have been known to garden, in a teddy and sweat pants; to hell with what anyone thinks.  It’s my own yard, my own territory-if it doesn’t suit you, look away.  My best friend will not walk with me in our neighborhood because of the attire I choose to exercise in.  Last winter, and I kid you not, I wore a stunning pink Elmer Fud number to lunch in Lititz (where the snobs and starving artists mingle amongst stores only the very rich can patronize.)  I was with my nieces, who love the fact that I am, well, unique to put it kindly.  Men and women were walking right up to my face and laughing.  Poor manners?  Yes.  Do I blame them?  No.

I simply cannot be bothered with worrying about the Joneses.  I’m too busy living in my own private Idaho…..where I am the queen of the outfit faux pas.


At the end of my rope yesterday-turns out my plague was something more serious-homo sapien affluenza.  I know, I try not to use these three words in the same sentence, but, what’s a girl to do when trying to explain her plight to the average Joe or JoeAnne?  The following is a true account of what could and would go wrong on my golden retriever’s fifth birthday, and how I survived to tell the tale.  Belch.

After becoming enslaved to the computer, the whims of my felines (I have had to change my writing spot-from grandma’s old desk, in front of a window that abets the glorious country scenery-to my broken down, flea ridden couch.  I have done this to avoid my cat Tootsie’s predilection for jumping up at said window and screaming at the top of her vocal chords-  not only does it tend to scare the life force out of me, but after 6 days with the flu and four without nicotine?  Well, it’s downright dangerous-for the cat, that is) I was so distraught that I pondered taking Jesse for a ride in the Jeep.  We had been  in the house for approximately 7 days, and our patience (and will to live) was ebbing, to say the very least. 

“Why, it wouldn’t hurt to go out and do some Christmas shopping!,” I announced to the yawning canine betwixt my feet.  His sidelong glance was one of doubt, incredulity and alarm.  He knows his mother, and he knows her well.  He jumped into the jeep despite his reservations, and let me tell you, when he jumped out of the jeep a few hours later?  He ran for the hills like his hair was on fire.

I almost fainted at the first store.  As a matter of fact?  While trying to walk a straight line (and I put everything I had into this, like, I’m talking DUI test concentration) I somehow walked, in a zig-zag fashion, straight into an elderly man and a sweet potato stand.  Pandemonium ensued, and after I picked him up off the floor?  I left my cart right there, and ran-fell out of the small grocery stand, before anything else could happen.

Next stop?  Walmart.  Yes, indeedy do, when I am out to torture myself, I go full metal jacket-why, why I laugh in the face of danger!  What could possibly go wrong in America’s favorite insane asylum?  Plenty, as it turns out.  While standing in one of two open lines (hey, it’s Christmas!  Two is better than one!) I broke a fever that sent sweat into every crevice of my five foot zero stature.  I sweat so badly I was forced to abandon my cart and run-fall all the way back to the jeep.

Merry Christmas, pass the Gas-ex, PLEASE.


Okay, So I Have the Plague…….

I just noticed that this song was produced by Straight to Hell Productions, and I am thanking Jesus that we had this conversation earlier in the week:

God, I want to make it clear to you that I don’t listen to music that could be considered demonic for any purpose except for that of my love of music.  I pondered my affinity for rock and roll that could be considered Satan’s lullabies.  And although my husband thinks that it is I who says it’s okay, I’m pretty sure we are allowed to enjoy things of this world, as long as we aren’t worshipping false idols or summoning demons.  I flat out love music, hence my blogging style.

Okay, so now back to my story.  Just awhile back I had written about my fears of picking up germs and/or knife wounds whilst working in the local hospital’s Emergency Room.  I was seriously terrified and tried to get out of this position immediately.  The enemy whispered (unfortunately, I did not recognize this at the time) all kinds of fears and anxieties in my ears.  He didn’t want me playing on Team Jesus-au contraire, Satan wanted me in bed, in a drunken stupor, frightened to leave the house let alone see any brothers or sisters in Christ.  Old Red Face had been very successful in limiting my interactions with others, and until very recently I allowed this.

I was terrified of illness.  I googled WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG IN AN EMERGENCY ROOM, “discovering” on purpose that the worst thing that could possibly happen to a person is a job in a hospital-ESPECIALLY the ER.  Why, combat in Isis territory was a much less dire avocation for crying out loud.  And what about the crime rate?  Some maniac could walk into our hospital (why is it that the security teams employed in the most needed areas i.e. Courthouses, hospitals, airports-are the oldest, frailest and slowest?????)and blow us all away!  If he was able to outrun the centurion on the golf cart, that is!!  I was convinced that this was not the job for me.

Finally, Jesus snapped me out of my stupor.  I went back to work and have enjoyed every single second of it…….and I have learned that we have nothing to fear, unless your fellow nurses and doctors come into work sick….in that case?

You’re screwed, baby.

Nothing Here Has Changed…Just the Beat

It takes two to tango……..this song was running through my head this morning, as I slipped and slid through my morning hike.  The fallen leaves, combined with the morning rain, had made the bridges treacherous, and my golden retriever waited with great anticipation-if not impatience, as I crawled along at a snail’s pace.

Jesse sees something, immediately slows down, turns around to look at me.  So accustomed to being alone at this early hour, I never considered his eyes were on a human being.  Finding myself at the slipperiest slope, wet rocks crowding the trail, I look up:  there is indeed a man at the top of the hill.  I cannot see his hair, but I do see his metal detector.  I stop dead in my tracks.  Put down my back pack, and get out my mace.  I remember, instantly, that the man  who stalked me whilst half naked last Summer had one, and that the cops told me that this was against the law at MiddleCreek.  I thought, ‘OK, here’s where I faint, fall apart, run…….’  But the real shocker was this:  I had no fear.

I had just fallen, whilst trying to pee in the woods.  It surprised me how many leaves one can pull out of their naked ass cheeks, but they kept coming, my dog mildly alarmed, came over to aid in my getting it together, so I wasn’t operating at my full potential.  I decided to walk right up to him, hiding my mace in my pocket.  If he had red hair (as my stalker did) I would shoot him straight in the face….if not?  I would tell him that he was breaking the law.

Finally able to see the  man had dark brown locks, I stepped up to the plate.

“Excuse me sir, but watch yourself, those are illegal in this park,” I gently roared.

He reaches in his pocket.  I reach into mine.

“No Englais, por favor.”

With that he pulls out his treasure of the day.  One shell casing and two pennies.

I need to get a day job.


That’s Not My Name

Oh the atrocities we are faced with each and every day.  Pedophilic activity in Hollywood and government, shootings too many to count-we are becoming pawns in their game.  The powers that be want us frightened, shut down, victims that dare not shine their light out in this dark world.

Well, screw them!  I choose to be informed, but I choose humor as a weapon of defense.

Beginning in elementary school, where I was literally held back because I couldn’t quite get the “skipping” thing, teachers began annihilating my name, and the thing is?  My name is quite easy:  M I C H E L E.  Through middle, junior and then high school, I was subject to teachers and substitutes alike mispronouncing Michele.

“Michael Elkins……….?” this was the most common mispronunciation.  But even Elkins was a toughie for the rogue men and women who just didn’t seem to grasp the English language.  I knew it would be different at Villanova.  I mean, university-college professors wouldn’t cream it, surely.

And so it was that I sat in Accounting 101….Mr. Dougherty.  Rollcall.

“Miguel Elkeens?…….”Is there a Miguel Elkeens here?


Spirit Flight 666, Boarding at Gate Tarmac

Oh my God, for as long as I can remember, my brother and I have been subject to the most incredible indiscretions, abnormalities and absurdities.  Actually, it doesn’t happen that much to my husband and myself anymore (kind of a drag, we had some damn good inappropriate laughter in our day, but lately……….slim pickings.)

That was before my brother came for a visit and regaled us with his hilarious reenactment of a flight he took last Summer on Spirit Airlines.  Of course, my  husband interrupted him with a little ditty I like to call, For Christ’s sake shut your mouth.  I just sat there, smiling uncomfortably, while Dwain told Craig the story of my getting flagged by the stewardesses on our flight out to LA.  Apparently…… of the gals flagged me so I went to the next stewardess and was served a glass of wine, drama ensued and the two of them almost came to fists and cuffs….don’t remember it, but I do remember the lovely woman I sat next to all the way to LAX was most definitely  not my amigo by the end of the flight.  For all I know I could have thrown up on, cursed out or told the same story 252 times for 6 hours to the poor woman.  I digress.  The following is my brother’s story, told in Michelespeak.

Apparently, last Summer, my brother wanted to save fifty, umm, yes that is $50, by travelling Spirit Airlines.  He brought his daughter and wife across the country, from LA to PA, on what could have been a “pretend” plane.  I am terrified to fly.  I have never flown sober, and as I no longer drink, I will take care of that little problem with a joint and two Ativan.  Trust me.  So, they are at LAX, waiting, as not just once, but myriads of times-they keep delaying the flight and switching gates.  He said it was a harrowing experience, you actually have to go through a security check and there are NO FRILLS.  He and his family were so unhinged, that they trauma bonded with fellow travelers. 

So, they finally get to the final gate (at this point, they are taking a red eye and they have been running back and forth to different gates at different parts of the airport.  If you have been to LAX, you know that’s a shit ton of running.)  They are getting ready to board.  There is no gate, only steps down to the tarmac.  My brother could not believe what he was seeing.  Feeling more and more anxiety, he notices a police car by the plane, but gets distracted by the 1930’s Russian version of a prison air craft.  No lie.  The seats didn’t recline.  Everything was metal.  He said he sighed a huge sigh of relief when he noticed that the flight attendants appeared to be normal people who obviously got trough at least a few of their flights.

And, as my brother begins to calm down, the captain speaks to the passengers:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, sorry for all of the delay.  I have been sitting in this airport for over two hours.  It appears the safety hatch on the left side of the plane was open, and by the time the authorities checked it out, well, my apologies.  We think we should be okay for the duration……………..”