Thursday, April 23, 2015

Walking side-by-side in marriage.

I had a customer in yesterday who really got under my skin.  He came in, I happily told him to let us know if he needs help with anything.  Truly.  That's what we're there for and we are happy to help.

He comes to me.  He starts talking.  It's a bit incoherent.

He speaks of a girl who asked him to marry her.  Of course he had to say yes.

He's married.

He's not married.

How could he marry?

He talks on about artists and art.  I engage in the conversation.  He talks about my boss.  I discuss certain aspects of the work.

He speaks of attending college.  I say something in regard to that and he tells me that he's illiterate.

:tip of the head with the attending college comment:

He continues to talk.  And talk.  And talk.  I can't fully understand him, but I give a bit of a grunt and nod from time to time.  (I can understand the idea he speaks of, but not details.)

Toni comes up.  She had been setting a jewelry case in the back.  He turns.  I kick her in the shin so she knows not to leave.  (I apologized later in case I bruised her.)  He rambles some more, then goes to look around next door.  Later, she told me that she had been keeping an eye on the situation and came to be with me on purpose.

I called next door just to have him followed a bit.  I didn't think he would steal anything, but I had no idea what he would do or what customer or coworker he would corner.  Matt was sent to hang with him.  He later told me, "I didn't know what you had against 'Duck Dynasty' until he opened his mouth.  Then I knew."

About 10 minutes later, the guy comes back through.  He talks of marriage.  He talks of marriage "Being a man and a woman, whites with whites, blacks with blacks and Muslims with Muslims."  :chewing on the inside of my cheek:

"Well, I think it's most important that people marry whoever makes them happy."

His response?  "I think that obedience is most important.  Obedience is more important that happiness, don't you think?"

I may have closed my eyes.

I may have taken a deep breath.

I picked up the phone and called a male coworker over.  He was over faster than I ever thought he could move.

He left almost immediately after Dan arrived.

Here's the thing, I don't pull that trigger all that often.  I'm not the girl to always have a man come to our rescue.  He seemed a little unhinged and I just didn't know which way things would go with him.

What do I think of obedience?  Well, it's great when you are a kid or an animal.  My thoughts and how we are structured in our marriage is that we're equal in this marriage.  My friend will say that she and her husband walk side-by-side.  She said that she doesn't walk behind, but doesn't walk in front, either.  M and I are that way.  There are times one takes the lead a bit more than the other, but we both take care of each other.

Happiness IS most important to both of us.

M's specification before marriage is that we had to enjoy our jobs.  If we didn't enjoy them, we had to move on.  Neither one of us have changed jobs that often in our 18+ years of marriage.  M moved from one permanent park position to another because of continual displeasure with his job.  I moved from the wedding boutique partially out of complete unhappiness and partly because I was trying to find a job art related.

We have a small house that we can manage because that brings happiness to us.  We love our neighborhood.  We love our little plot of earth.

We have basic vehicles that we take care of and own until they die because that brings happiness to us.  Shopping for cars stresses us out.

Neither one of us makes demands of the other.  Instead, we work together-- as a team.  There is no submissive wife.  (He knew that long before marriage.)  There is no submissive husband.  (I wouldn't want that.)  We are helpful mates to each other and I would want nothing more.
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Finicky World of Vinyl

We didn't want to pull that trigger.  We tried not to.  We knew that 1.  It was an expensive hobby.  and 2.  We didn't have a turntable.

Bring Christmas and my husband gifts me a turntable.  Turns out that I had put some vinyl on my list, but with the intention of collection only.  He thinks that it is insane to just own vinyl and knows that I'm not a collector.  I'm a user of things.  I hate having a ton of stuff just sitting around and, well, doing nothing.

Fast forward to now.  This was our first official Record Store Day where we owned a turntable that we could use to spin some delightful wax.  RSD was Saturday and though both of us knew about it, M worked and we were helping him with his Earth Day Fishing Derby.

I got a bit of an itch that night though.

"You know, I didn't realize that Slayer put out a 7"."

"I knew."

"Do you want us to see if we can find it?  I have one I'm looking for and we can stop tomorrow before soccer."

A little arm twisting :sarcasm: and we landed at our record store the next day.  Of course, they had what I was looking for plus a 2011 RSD PJ release.  No Slayer for M.  Bummer.

I went home and did, despite other people's choosing, spun my Citizen Dick (one side, of course) and The Frogs version of Rearviewmirror.

M did find his Slayer 45.  He texted me.  It was "cracking and popping" on the one side all over the place.  I did listen to it later.  It has some pretty intense surface noise, but it kind of is what it is.  The pull was limited to 5000 copies worldwide and though contacting the distributor/manufacturer, it seems as if there isn't a really great resolution.  He's received vinyl from this particular outfit before.  It had chunks out of the edges and a big scratch across "his favorite song."

He bought me the Jeff Ament vinyl and it's warped.  The needle rides along like it is on a roller coaster track.  It plays fine.

Surprisingly, my friend purchased a limited edition release that he waited months for.  It arrived and it had two huge skid marks.  They didn't play on his turntable.  They were replaced and since he had the extra, he asked if I would like them.  I said sure and you know what?  They play just fine without skips on my turntable.

We don't just drop the vinyl from the package and onto the turntable.  Nosiree!  There is cleaning to be done.  Then you have to flip the adjustments to make sure that you're running for a 45 and not a 33.

Now, M wants a needle cleaner.

We bought a record cleaner.  Works like a charm.

Here's the thing.  Neither one of us remember doing any of this stuff when we were kids.  We just slapped the filthy vinyl on the turntable, dropped the needle and listened to it.  There could be hunks of peanut butter stuck to it.  It could be skipping all over the place.  We also reached down WITH OUR HANDS and removed the fuzz from the needle.  You mustn't do that now.  YOU'LL RUIN THE NEEDLE!

Has vinyl equipment gotten more finicky over the years, or have we?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pharmaceutical coupons.

I've hit a desperate state.  I sat with my doctor this morning, told him that once again, Nasonex and Allegra could only do so much.

"So, you want an allergy shot, huh?"  :insert smirk:

"Yes, please."

I explained that I've been blowing (literally) through boxes of Kleenex and frankly, I hadn't been sleeping other than the night previous, but that was the first in about 6 nights.

I've woken to my husband very quietly tip-toeing out of the bedroom with pillow in hand.  I'm such a sinus wreck that it's sending my husband to seek sleep elsewhere.  I should add that he needs complete silence when sleeping (or loud music) and I've not been completely silent nor have I been melodically snoring death metal to him.  Poor guy.

So I got the wondrous shot.  I swear that between the shot and a little shot of rain, I'm starting to feel like a new woman.  I'm excited to sleep AGAIN tonight and to be able to get rid of crusty red nose.  A few nights ago, I woke up with baby bubble booger nose.  That was gross.

So knowing I was going to Dr. W, I had to get my Epi Pen refilled (the other was outdated) and to get a new prescription of Nasonex, which surprisingly ran out just this morning.  I knew that I had a Nasonex coupon from online, but thought I'd give Epi Pen a try.

I found one.  $0 copay!  Hooray!

I went to the pharmacy with coupons in hand.  The pharmacy tech never gets mad about the coupons even though she has to back the script back out of the system and refill it and rebill it.  She came to me and said, "You know, I'm going home to find that Epi Pen coupon.  I have to pay $80 for mine and I've got an old one because I just can't afford it right now."

So sad!

I told her that she was probably glad to see me!  I told her that I've now learned that any brand name prescription I have, I will look to see if there is a savings card or coupon online.  I also have the Lipitor card.  I'm able to get brand name Lipitor for $4, when if I would get generic, it would cost me $25.

So go forth!  See if you qualify!  Look for coupons, people!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Renewed appreciation.

My husband and I have been married for 18 years.  We've hung out for 21.  We been through ups and downs, but nothing that has had us ever consider parting ways.

Ever.

We're lucky that way and I know it.

Recently, stories keep tumbling in my door about family members and friends in dire straights with marriage.  There has been infidelity, verbal abuse, growing apart and cases of mutual disrespect.

M and I were having a heart-to-heart last night.  I was regaling him with stories that were told to me of loves lost, hearts broken and those just trying to scrape it together to make it work.

"Makes you appreciate me a little more, doesn't it?" my man said to me with a grin.

I truly have been fortunate.  Tacky to say, but a lot of men would have left me after being told that I couldn't have children or risk a 90% chance at death.

M would tell you that he has been fortunate because a lot of women would have left him for his undiagnosed digestive ills that he's been battling for 12 1/2 years.

Never once have either one of us considered it.

M and I have always had a mutual respect for each other.  A coworker was talking a few weeks ago and I mentioned something.  She told me that the relationship that M and I have together isn't that typical and that we really were made for each other.

I know it.  So does he.

How fortunate I am.  How fortunate we both are.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Please don't copy art and don't come into the gallery and tell me about it.

I had a customer come in with her friend.  We have a lot of different people come in, but you could really tell that these two ladies were not folks to generally frequent a gallery.

"My friend wants you to tell her who did a painting that she has."

"Well, that's not really our thing.  We're a fine craft gallery and a fine art gallery would be more the place to look for that."

She pulled out her phone.  She showed me a cock-eyed photo of a painting.  It wasn't close up.  It wasn't detailed.  I could see what it was but she wanted to tell me the artist because . . .

Wait for it . . .

She took a photo of the painting, then sent it off to [a big box corporation] and had a canvas made of it.

:tips of the head:

She wanted me to tell her the name of the artist of the painting that she has.

1.  It is not a painting that you have.  You have a printed canvas.
2.  You have a forged printed canvas of a work that you took a photo of.
3.  The artist would now be [big box corporation] because you STOLE SOMEONE'S WORK!

She was stunned that we didn't know, even though they admitted at this point that the piece was from an original that the one woman's brother had and it was from Washington state.

:tips of the head:

We're in Ohio.

I tried to explain that copying an artist's work is kind of rough for the artist . . . I trailed off because the ladies turned and talked to another coworker and listened to not a word I was saying.  A customer was at the counter.  She witnessed the whole thing.  She was appalled and was shaking her head in agreement with me.

Don't knock off artist's work.  It isn't nice.  If you do, don't come to a gallery expecting us to tell you all about the art that you just forged.  That is not cool at all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

My daughter's first trip to the circus.

A couple of weeks ago, K called to tell me that she was given an envelope at school because she was one of the top 5 readers in her class.  In the envelope was a ticket to the Tadmor Shrine Circus.  She was so excited.  The location where it was set was smaller, so I knew that though she tends to get overwhelmed in crowds, she should be able to rock this one out to actually be able to enjoy it.  (She gets that crowd phobia from me.)

Y'all, my girl LOVED it.  Now, this was not a circus rich in animals.  There were some lions and elephants.  Oh, there was a little dog.  There were ponies for a pony ride thing during intermission.  It was just a nice, small circus.

She kept telling me how glad she was that she won the ticket and about how she was having such a good time.  It truly made my heart happy.  We've been trying to pull as much good from this 5th grade year as possible.

No lie, today was a busy beginning of the day.  She was set to acolyte.  We were having a 100th celebration of our church and we were having a dinner afterwards.  Guess who was signed up to be greeters and totally forgot?  :hand held high:  Oops!  The one lady who was sitting behind us in church said, "Hey!  You guys were the greeters for today."  :insert shocked face:  "Crap!  I forgot about that!"  I stuck out my hand to shake hers, "Welcome to - - - United Methodist Church!  We're so glad to have you with us today!"  I apologized to the secretary and I asked her to e-mail me a reminder next time.  She laughed.  My in-law's came to join us.  They wanted to see K acolyte and frankly, they were good with Palm Sunday service.  (My MIL was thrilled to get green palms!)  We had a combined service that she truly enjoyed.  They had new members presented to the church.

This is where I feel bad.

My MIL leaned over and said, "Did you do that?"  "Yes.  We didn't invite anyone.  We had no idea what to expect.  We just did it on our own."  We didn't.  We transferred our membership from our old church.  We went to about 6 weeks of classes.  We attended regularly and were involved in a Sunday School class, so what they wanted us to do we were already doing it.  Frankly, when we transferred our membership the last time, it wasn't a big deal.  We signed a paper.  They sent a letter to our previous church.  With the Methodist Church, you have a bit more of a ceremony.  Oops.

I mentioned that after church we had a potluck.  I invited my in-law's to stay on.  My MIL insisted on bringing something, but I told her that she didn't need to worry that there would definitely be plenty.  Oh, there was plenty.  We had to pull the "we have tickets to the circus in an hour" card to get through the line sooner.  People understood.

So, back to the circus.

Presenting the flag at the start of the circus.  
The lions.


What's a circus without a ring master? 

I can't even do one hula hoop let alone an entire slinky worth!

It was a fairly small venue, so every seat was a good seat! 

I'm not this talented . . .

. . . at all.  

The elephants.  PETA was outside of the venue and made sure to give K a coloring book on her way in.  Actually, it is a well done coloring book.  Props to them for handling my circus guilt in a coloring book so well.  

Taking a seat. 

My girl loving the light-up glow stick she bought.  Bless her soul.  She wanted a light-up stick more than she could see straight.  I did promise her that she could buy something from one of the vendors walking around.  Turns out that she bought the "clearance" light stick.  (She's my girl.) It was only $5.  :)

And don't forget to purchase your balloon on the way out, folks!  We skipped those doors.  

It is a fundraiser for the Shriner's and they do wonderful things for kids.  It was a fun day and not an overwhelming time.  We left there happy and not feeling like a wet rag.  That says a lot for two ladies in the house who get crowd anxiety in a horrible way.  

Thank you, Shriner's.  My daughter loved the time she had at your circus and was delighted that she got a free ticket!  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Western Reserve District 5 District Science Day at the University of Akron

Last Saturday, K participated the next round of the Science Fair AKA Western Reserve District 5 District Science Day.  Of course, this was the ONLY weekend that I'm out of town as a buyer for work.  Hubs handled this one.  He was able to take off work.  I felt guilty.  K told me not to.  After the day was over, M said that he was glad that I didn't do the haul back and forth from Columbus like I had originally considered.  

K had to be at the university at 7:45 AM with her project set up and ready.  She was to stand with her project until the judges released her.  

The child was with her project until 12:30 PM.  

M wasn't allowed to leave the two floors of the student union, and we were quite fine with that.  

K said that if she needed a drink or to use the loo, one of the kids beside her had to cover her.  If they walked away and the judges appeared and they weren't there, they were disqualified.  

K said that the judges came and asked her a lot of questions.  She talked with them for about 10 minutes.  I'm sure that after standing there for over 4 hours, she was nervous and there were some questions she said that she didn't understand.  She called me in tears.  She felt defeated.  

They went to the awards ceremony which M billed as "extremely tangential and long winded."  She found out that she hadn't moved on and while that was fine with all of us, by the time she hit 5 PM of the same ole thing, girlfriend had hit a wall.  That was when the tear filled call came.  It had been a LONG day and I wasn't there.  She missed me and that didn't help.

We also found out that she was the ONLY 5th grader there.  The next oldest kid was in 8th grade. 

A few days later at school, her certificate and score sheet showed up.  I thought that it was wonderful that they sent a personalized certificate and that the score sheet came along.  To have K score an Excellent made her very happy.  She didn't know what she scored on Saturday and she felt like she did a horrible job.  Turns out, baby girl did a great job and earned the equivalent of probably a B+.  Her teacher made a big deal out of it and frankly, that was kind of nice.  

She learned a lot with this experience.  It was a nice boost for her to have done well and though the journey with the green beans has ended here, there are many more scientific journeys to come.  

She opted to change the ribbon of her medal out to a U of A lanyard.  It's a nice touch.  :)

Who knew that she needed to do measurements in metric?  I laugh because it took me 2 days to figure out that the measurement that they were talking about was temperature and that she didn't list it as Celsius.  

I thought it was a nice touch that they had the back engraved with the occasion and date. 

An experience for all.  Hopefully, an experience to have again.