It seems like every entertainer who is worth a damn is dying during my lifetime. I’m quite sure I will leave some very important people off the list, but I can think of Merle Haggard, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Ritter, Heath Ledger, James Gandolfini, Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, and now…Prince. Prince? I could not believe it. He was just in Atlanta the week before! Of course now there are sinister stories coming out of the woodwork, just as there always are when a celebrity passes on into the great beyond. I don’t believe them-not a single one. Prince was a huge part of my youth, a huge part of my life. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t listen to his music. “Purple Rain” changed my life. I use to always party like it was 1999. On October 14, 1991, I was 20 years old, and waiting for the clock to strike midnight, so it would be October 15, 1991, making me 21 years old. Of course, we had already been drinking a few or 10 Budweiser’s at our apartment in Athens, Georgia. It was a Monday night, so we should have been studying and going to bed since we all had classes the next morning. Alas, my degree was to be a PhD in partying and would only take me two years to complete….Anyway, the clock struck midnight, and my stepsisters and I hopped in the car–one was sober–and drove to this redneck-y bar that I remembered the name of for years, but I have now forgotten. I can still remember what I was wearing. I had on this red plaid knee-length skirt, a black sweater, black tights, and black flats. I am almost 100% positive that I had a spiral perm in my barely shoulder length hair, which really accentuated my chipmunk cheeks. And, like I mentioned before, I had already had several Budweiser’s (Sorry Mothah) . One of my stepsisters had turned 21 six months earlier. She and I were going to do a little karaoke. That is actually the whole reason we chose that damn bar in the first place, if my memory serves me correctly…. It did not take us long to decide on “Little Red Corvette”-in fact, we may have decided on that song before we even got there. We got a video of our very attractive performance to take home with us. Unfortunately for me, I have not a clue what happened to that video. I can only hope that it made it to the garbage dump sometime over the last 25 years, and not YouTube or the under underground internet. It was only natural that we would have chosen that song, or really any Prince song. We loved Prince. I will always relate my 21st birthday to Prince. Prince was a musical genius like none other that I may ever see in my lifetime. I did not know him, but his music touched my soul–deeper than other musicians have. I do not know what is after this life, but I bet that Prince is there–making music with Angels.
To say that I have been in a funk is an understatement. Mostly it has been a Homeowner’s Funk, as you will read here shortly…. I hate not having time to sit and write. I have lots of material–good LORD, don’t ever worry about that! It’s just that sometimes the stuff I want to write about may be too embarrassing for some of the people I live with….I may have to wait 10…maybe 20 years before I get to write about some of the shit that goes on at my house on a daily basis, and by then, I may have dementia! I am trying to be diligent about writing down topics now, so that I can go back later and write the actual stories. I will try to catch you up to speed tout de suite! In November, some jackass stole our push mower out of our carport. This was not an opportune time for us to replace it. We were sending Mini Me back up to Berklee to do his second audition and it was right before Christmas. Spending $400 on a lawnmower was not exactly what I wanted to do, but I had to do it, so I did it. I went to Home Depot and bought a Honda self-propelled mower. We used it twice before we stored it, per the directions in the manual, for the lame winter we had here in Atlanta. About a week before Easter, I got it out to cut the back yard. I could get it started, but it would not stay started. To say that I was not pleased is an understatement. I put the damn thing back up, thinking that maybe letting it sit would magically fix the problem, and got it back out for Mini Me to cut the front yard a couple of days later. Of course by then, the grass was up to mid-shin level and our yard was looking like a trailer park. Of course, my “letting it sit a few days” method had done nothing to fix the problem. I loaded the damn thing up, got my receipt out, and figured since it had been 4 months since I purchased it, I would just return it. When I got to Home Depot, I was in for a very rude awakening. I was shown that on the receipt, in very small print, it said, “We do not accept returns for gas-powered products after 30 days of purchase”. This, my friends, was news to me. In fact, the day that I bought the mower, the sales associate had gone on and on and on about how I needed that stupid 3 year extended warranty and how the 1 year warranty that came with the mower was enough to cover it for 1 year, but I should really buy the 3 year warranty. He never mentioned this 30 Day Gas-Powered Policy. Since I was at the end of my rope mentally, emotionally, and financially, I started crying right there at Customer Service in Home Depot. The manager came and asked me if I would like some water. I wanted to say “yes, I would like some water. And I would like to take that water and shove it up your ass, and you owe me a new mower.” But, alas, I did not say that. I thanked her and declined the water. I was literally having to hold on to myself with ever fiber I had left. I seriously had to stand there and imagine myself being taken out of there in handcuffs and being put into a police car, just to keep it together. I was that angry. I was told that my only option was to pay $18.95 for diagnostics and leave the mower there. If the repairs were less than $100, they would fix it at the store. If it was going to cost more than $100, the mower would have to be shipped to Honda and would be gone about 2 months. Were they fucking kidding me? What kind of lawn mower hell had I gotten myself into? I filled out the necessary paperwork and left the mower. After I had cooled down, two weeks later, I wrote an email to Home Depot Corporate Customer Service, telling them that I was done with them and I was going to tell all of my friends to never shop there again. About an hour later, I got a call from someone. This girl said she wanted to help me. She called the store where my mower was and then she called me back. She said that my mower was actually ready and they had called me two days earlier (bullshit). She said there was a $45 charge. I said, “whatever”. I went to Home Depot and picked up my mower. I was actually excited about mowing the God-awful grass. It’s mostly weeds-clover and such. It’s really heinous. When it is cut, it’s not so bad. I got home and JC came out. He was still in his suit and was on the phone. He helped me get it out of the car and walked back into the house. I got the gas can and filled the mower up. Then I watched the entire tank of gas leak out all over the carport floor. I am quite certain that my entire street heard me yell “GODDAMMIT!” before I threw my garden gloves to the floor of the carport and stomped inside, slamming the door behind me. I was D.O. N. E. I let out another good GD once I got inside the house, forgetting that JC was on a business call. I could not deal with the lawnmower any more that day. We borrowed our neighbor’s mower and Mini Me cut the grass. On Monday, I called Home Depot and told them what had happened. The guy said that I could bring it back and they would see what was going on. See what was going on? Was he serious? I told him that I was not about to put the damn thing back in my car, as it now reeked of gasoline! I had to borrow a truck and it might take me a few days to figure out how to get it over there, but I wanted him to know that I’d be back!
In the meantime, I called the girl at corporate back. I think her name was Keesha. (Not her name, but I had to change it for legal purposes 😉 I left her a message. I never heard from her. I waited two days and left her another message and still, never heard from her. So……I waited a week. Then, I sent another scathing email to Home Depot Corporate, telling my story, yet again, and this time, I called Keesha out by name. The next day, guess what? Lo and behold, she called me back! She said she had been on vacation! Funny that her voice mail did not mention anything like, “This is Keesha. I am on vacation for the next week. Please call such and such for further assistance….” If she thinks for one minute that I bought her vacation bullshit, she is dead up wrong. At first, our conversation went well….but then she got a bit testy. It began to be quite obvious that Keesha had been called out for not calling me back, and she was not happy that I had sent another email to corporate. Oh well! In the end, she pulled through for me. Home Depot called and arranged to pick up my mower and they returned it after it was repaired, yet again. I am grateful for that. What I am not grateful for is the complete and utter bullshit I had to go through to get my damn mower back in working condition, when it was 4 months old. That is completely unacceptable to me, and Home Depot should stand behind their products. I will never again purchase any sort of gas powered or any powered equipment from Home Depot. Dammit. And do not say, “well, you should have read the fine print on the receipt”, because who reads that shit? Seriously!!!!
The lawn mower saga has taken a lot of the Psycho Mother’s time and energy. So has our electrical arcing problem….I was preferring to think of the arcing as a nice and friendly ghostly presence…. making our lights blink and flutter and go bright and dim….until Al, our friendly exterminator was here. He said to me, “Jennifer. You must call an electrician. There have been squirrels in the attic. And all of this arcing that has been going on while I have been here for the past 20 minutes–it’s a major fire hazard. Please. Clean everything out of the attic immediately and call the electrician today or tomorrow.” I said, “Al! This has been going on for a year! I really just thought it was a friendly, ghostly presence!” He shook his head and looked at me like I had lost my mind. He was silent for about 30 seconds. “I am not kidding around. Call an electrician. Put it at the top of your list.” I said I would, with a giant sigh. Of course I waited about a week. I had to admit, every time I turned the dryer on, the stove cut off. That was new. The lights had gotten very dim–almost like candle light. I’m not stupid. I have a kid who is going to college next year. I was not wanting to deal with what might be a major electrical problem. I also did not want my house to burn down. I called the electrician. He said for me to call Georgia Power and have them come and change out such and such. When I called GP, they said I needed to turn off the breaker immediately. I laughed. I said, “Look. This has been going on. My kids are home for Spring Break. Besides that, we have the old timey fuse box. Do you really want me to go down there and unscrew all those fuses?” They had a truck out here within the hour. The man came to the door and told me that he was about to turn off the power. I asked him if Mothah could please finish cooking the hotdogs. He said if she finished in the next minute. She did. 45 minutes later, the problem was fixed and we have had zero arcing since. The electrician came out and inspected the attic. No damage inside; however, we need insulation….So….I am now dealing with that. And…I am also going through my mountains of shit I have been hoarding for years in the attic–I think I have kept every piece of paper that Mini Me has ever written on, and, I should not admit this, but I have a giant Rubbermaid container full of my children’s shoes! Saddle Oxfords, English Sandals in pink, red, navy and white, Thomas the Tank Engine rain boots, 14 pairs of ballet shoes, 3 or 4 pairs of tap shoes….it’s really bad, and it is all in my dining room, den, and front hall….So, can you see why I have had zero time for writing as of late? I have missed it terribly! Oh, and Mini Me went out and got himself a J.O.B. On his own! We have a lot to catch up on. I promise, we will!
If you do not like something about your life, don’t sit around, waiting for your life to change….Get off your ass and CHANGE your life!
I think there is a joke that goes something like this: There was this guy and his town was flooding. He decided that his faith in God was going to save him. All of his neighbors left. They begged the guy to go with him. “No”, he said, “God will save me.” A boat came by and the people in the boat begged the guy to get on, and the guy said, “No, My Lord will save me.” The water got higher and higher and another boat came by. The people on the boat begged the guy to get on the boat and he shook his head adamantly and said, “No! My Lord will save me!” Finally, the water was up to the guy’s neck. A helicopter came and they threw down a rope. People yelled from a loud speaker in the helicopter for the man to grab the rope, but the man yelled back, “No! My Lord will save me!” The man drowned. When he got to Heaven, the man asked God why he had not saved him from drowning. God looked at the man and just shook his head and said, “You idiot! I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter! What more could I have done?!”
This is so very true in life. We are handed life preservers daily–that we do not grab onto. They come from many different sources–friends, family, random acts of kindness, whatever. I challenge you to open your eyes to these. And to accept them from time to time–without feeling that you have to repay, because so many are offered without strings attached and we don’t even know it. Open your eyes to change in your life.
Nothing changes if nothing changes…..
3 Quote Challenge
Thank YOU, Wendy Weir Greater Than Gravity for nominating me for the 3 Quote Challenge! I needed the push to get back to my blog! 😉
Now….I nominate the following wonderful writers for the 3 Quote Challenge:
Post 1-3 quotes daily and then choose 3 other bloggers to do the same! No pressure. If you choose not to participate, there will be no hurt feelings. My life is wild and crazy right now and I totally understand if you do not have time to do this! Just wanted you to know that I enjoy your stuff! 😉