Thursday, December 31, 2009


See what I mean?
About spiders?
I woke up at 3:30 in the morning . . .
With a insistent itch on my leg.
After incessantly scratching it . . .
I fell back to sleep.
Didn’t think about it again.
Until this morning when I was shaving my legs.
What the . . .
There was a bite on my leg.
A fiery red bite . . .
Which was now redder with my blood from the nick.
Damn it!
The temps have been frigid for a  month . . .
Which means that . . .
There are no mosquitoes stalking us humans for blood!
Which means that . . .
The only critter that bit me was . . .
A spider!
So you know what that means, don't you?
It means that I am their food source now that the little ants in my apartment are hibernating.
And that means . . .
That a tiny little spider (I pray it was little and there is only one)
Has reduced me to being . . .
The lowest link on the food chain . . .
In my own apartment!
See why I hate spiders?
Not only are they bloodsucking little monsters . . .
They add insult to injury!

Always Em-Musing
P.S. I wonder if any of the dozen creams I got for Christmas might also be a spider repellent?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I swear I didn’t do it.
In fact I can’t stand it when I see others do it.
Most often it’s kids that do it.
And then men.
Rarely women.
And when adults do it, it’s usually while they’re in their car.
At least that’s when I see them doing it.
It’s disgusting!
And I have to say that I’ve never done it either.
I know, I know . . .
I looked like I did yesterday.
But I didn’t.
And it’s not my fault that it looked like I did either.
It’s that damn cold’s fault.
The one I had a few weeks ago . . .
That has lingering effects . . .
Like still having to blow my nose many times a day.
And what has happened because of all this incessant blowing . . .
Is that a tiny sore developed on the inside of my nose . . .
Half-way up.
If I don’t keep Vaseline on it, or some other cream . . .
A scab forms . . .
Hardens . . .
With nose hairs in it and . . .
So you see?
I wasn’t “picking” my nose . . .
I was freeing some poor unwilling nose hairs that got caught.
And if I didn’t free them . . .
Tears were going to come to my eyes . . .
With every song I sang . . .
Causing me to sneeze.
See where I’m headed?
I was driving . . .
Singing, "Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah," from Lady Gaga’s song, “Bad Romance.”  
And the bloody scab kept tugging the stuck nose hairs . . .
And if I didn’t get that scab out . . .
I was going to go crazy!
Or at least sneeze while driving . . .
And potentially cause an accident!
Unfortunately . . .
As I reached for a tissue . . .
A car full of teenagers pulled next to me at the light.
Maybe because both cars were jamming to Lady Gaga . . .
And we were swaying in our cars to the same Rah-rah beat . . .
I turned to look at them . . .
At the same time they turned to look at me . . .
Which was the same time my tissue-wrapped finger . . .
Was digging half-way up my nose.
Now, I can’t read lips . . .
But it’s wasn’t hard to decipher what their mouths were yelling.
But I swear!
I wasn’t “picking” my nose.
Just eliminating a potential driving hazard.
That’s all!

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


“What can we do for you today?” the young saleslady in the Verizon store asked.
“Something's wrong with my phone.”
“OK, just put in your name on this screen.”
I wanted to say, “No, you do it. That’s what you’re getting paid for.”
But I didn’t. I break out in hot flashes when angry. I wanted to remain calm.

But that was hard to do because . . .
My cell phone was not functioning AGAIN!
Not the touch pad. Not the voice activated commands . . .
And having to type my name and info just to get service made me . . .
Stay calm. Take your mind someplace that’ll make you feel happy.
After twenty  minutes, my name was finally was called.
“What can we do for you today,” the nice young man asked.
“Something's wrong with my phone.”
“What’s your cell number.”
“I already put that information in on the touch screen thingy by the door.”
“I know, but I need it again.”
I glared at him wanting to say something  . . .
Calm. Remain calm.
“This phone is no good anymore. And you already had a replacement.”
“I’m aware of that.”
“I’m sorry you’re having trouble.”
“It’s not my fault. I didn’t drop the phone, I took good care of it.”
“How about an upgrade to a different model?”
“For free?”
“No,” the young salesman said with a smirk.”
“But why would I buy a new phone? I like this one model.”
“Because this will be the second LG Voyager we’ll be giving you for free.”
“Because the other two were junk. And besides, I paid a lot of money for the first one.”
“But I can’t guarantee that a third LG Voyager will be any better.
“But it’s not my fault. My niece in California’s stepson works for Verizon and he said all LG Voyagers are bad phones.”
“That’s true.”
“So why do I have to pay for a new phone when it’s not my fault?’
Remain calm. Take off your wool hat. You’re starting to sweat.
“Well, you could have this model,” he said picking one off the shelf.
“I really don’t like it . . .
“This one is free.”
“Free? Well then . . .
“If  you add another line.”
“Another line?”
“Another phone number for just $ 9.99 a month.”
“Do I have to sign a contract for that line?”
“How long?”
“Two years.”
“Two years? That would be almost $250.00 with all the taxes.”
“But the phone is free . . .
Next time don’t wear your down-filled coat.
 “At $250.00, I’d hardly say the phone was free.”
“Well, technically the phone is.”
Take  off your wool scarf.
“When is my contract up so I qualify for a new phone?’
“November 2012.”
“Why so long? I thought it was every year?”
“Each time you got a replacement phone your contract was extended.”
“Are you kidding me? That’s not fair.”
Calm down and wipe your upper lip.

“That’s our policy, ma’am.”
“But it’s not my fault that your phones don’t work. I paid good money for this LG. I don’t want to pay more.”
“Well, there is this model I could let you have,” he said picking a small phone off the shelf.
“That thing? My five-year-old grandson has a bigger one.”
“But you can have this one for free.”
“But I don’t like it.”
You’re starting to look like a nutcase. Wipe the drops of sweat off of your face .
“And besides,” I said fumbling in my purse for a tissue, “it doesn’t have a keyboard. I tex a lot. And I like the touch pad.”
Take off that damn coat before you have a pool of sweat by your feet and it’ll look like you’ve peed.
“But this phone is free.”
“You’re not getting me are you?” I said taking both my hands and smearing the sweat on my face.
“I am NOT paying for a new phone. I DO NOT want that stupid little phone. I WANT a replacement!”
“Is everything OK over here?” An older salesperson said walking over.
Remain calm before they call the police.
After explaining my plight, the older salesperson said, “Give her a replacement.”
The young salesman glared at me as he reached down under the counter and took out another LG Voyager.
“What about transferring my information and photos?” I asked.
“You can . . .
“NO, you can do all that for me on that machine on the counter behind you!”
“Yes, ma’am. You should know that this LG might not . . .
“I don’t care. When this one doesn’t work, I’ll come in for a new one. And I’ll come in every few months for a new one till 2012.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
As I left the store, replacement phone in hand, I don’t know who was ahead in the score, me or Verizon.
But at least I felt I held my own.
I just wish I held a good phone.

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, December 28, 2009


My sister thinks I gave her diarrhea for Christmas!
It was Christmas morning.
Her husband was working . . .
And so she came over my apartment for Christmas brunch.
I served kielbasa, scrambled eggs and was going to make potato latkes, but it looked like bugs bits were in the box, (yes, I use a box mix) so I made blueberry pancakes instead.
And I almost called and cancelled the brunch because I had hurled just a few hours before.
My stomach still felt a bit "funny."
After brunch, we went to the movies and saw, It’s Complicated
 (Which, by the way, is a fantastic movie! Laughed my butt off)
Then we both went our separate ways into Christmas day.
Saturday, I went over to her house to see my nieces an nephew.
“I got sick last night,” my sister said. “I think I got what you had the other night.,
 “But I had heartburn from hell. You can’t catch heartburn.”
“Well something gave me diarrhea.”
“So you think it was something you ate?”
“Yeah. Cause I’m fine now.”
“And you think it was something from brunch?”
“Had to be the kielbasa,” my sister said.
“Did you get it at the Polish deli?”
“No. The Italian deli.”
“That’s why. It tasted funny.”
““But I ate the kielbasa,” I answered in defense of the sausage.
“But just a bite. And then you spit it out. Why?”
“Because I got a hunk of fat.”
“Why didn’t you eat  more?”
“My stomach was still sensitive from hurling hot lava puke just hours ago.”
“I never heard of throwing up from heartburn.”
“It's happened to me a few times in the last few months.”
“Well, something gave me diarrhea.”
See what I mean?
She thinks I gave her diarrhea!
Does she think I purposely gave her tainted kielbasa?
That I knew it was tainted and let her eat it?
And I duped her by eating just a bit and spitting it out?
Or does she think I “put” something in the kielbasa?
And then ate just a bite and spit it out.
I wouldn’t do that.
But I guess my laughing like a hyena didn’t make my case look strong.
And the more she told me how her stomach boiled and rumbled . . .
The harder I laughed.
Anyway, I know my sister knows I wouldn’t do such an awful thing.
I’m just not sure why I know why I thought her crapping her brains out was so damn funny.
Anyway, when I got home I was hungry.
I went to the refrigerator and spotted the leftover kielbasa.
I just hate to waste food and so I . . .
Oh, no!
My stomach started rumbling . . .
It felt like something was boiling in it and . . .
Oh, dear God, this definitely was not funny!
And . . .
Oh no!
Just gas!
Anyway . . .
I threw it out.
Because if it's one thing I've learned in life is . . .
Never dare the fates!

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Merry Christmas Eve!
I wasn't going to post . . .
Except I have to rant . . .
My cat just looked at me as if to say, "Now what?"
Well, I'm baking today.
Cookies for my daughters . . .
And making a delicious pie to bring to dinner tonight.
And while I baked, I had visions of watching the channel that airs Christmas Story continuously.
I had my apron on . . .
I was singing  some carols . . .
I turned the TV on . . .
I clicked the romote . . .
Kept clicking the remote . . .
What the heck?
No Christmas Story?
No Christmas Story!
Only 24 hours of White Christmas.
Bah humbug!
I like White Christmas,
But not as well as I like Christmas Story.
So . . .
No, Ralphie.
No, "You'll shoot your eye out!"
No, crazy lady's leg lamp.
No mean old Santa going, "Ho, ho ho!"
So, after clicking all up and down the channels to find something  . . .
What am I watching?
Vampires of the abyss.
Not a horror movie . . .
A documentary about vampire squid in Monteray Bay.

Always, Em-Musing

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The children were nestled, all snug in the bed,
While my stuffed-up sinuses throbbed in my head.
The children slept soundly, reposing quite nice,
While I searched for a hot pack, a cold pack, or ice.
Visions of last evening’s fun danced in their dreams,
While the mess in my living room made me wanna scream!
The children were laying all cuddly and cute,
It took twelve hours for the sugar to finally work through.
How beautiful they now looked in their slumber mode,
Dear God! I look like a hag from the underworld!
They’ll wake up all rested and happy too,
While I still have dozens of Christmas cookies to do!
But the memories they’ll cherish, all of their lives,
Especially Grandma’s refrain of a thousand times:
“If you kids don’t settle down this sleepover is OVER!
And I’m going to take your little butts home!
Oh, c’mon, now. Grandma didn’t mean to make you cry.
No, no, I’m not going to take you home. I promise!
Here, have another cookie . . .

Always, Em-Musing

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I thought a delicious cup of coffee sounded good Saturday night.
Actually, what I needed was a few shots of Jose Cuervo.
It was a sleepover at grandma’s.
“Stop it!" I yelled storming into my living room. "My couch is not a trampoline!"
My three grandkids giggled and jumped around in their pajamas ignoring me as if I was paint on the wall.
“Enough already! It’s midnight!” I screamed even louder.
And not a yawn or droopy lid among them!
But in all fairness to them, it wasn’t their fault.
They came over to make Christmas cookies—that have sugar in them.
They came over to make fudge—that has sugar in it.
They came over to drink hot cocoa—that has sugar in it.
And then I gave them candy canes to stir their hot cocoa with—even more sugar!
If I had been using my brains—or was sane—I would have had my grandkids over at 9 A.M.  
That way, there would have been at least twelve hours for . . .
The sugar to take control of them . . .
Turn them into screaming mee-mee’s . . .
And then by 9 P.M., the sugar would have worn off and they’d finally go to sleep!
And me too.

Always, Em-Musing

Monday, December 21, 2009


“Who is it?”
“Fed Ex.”
I opened the door thinking the package had to be for my neighbor. I wasn’t expecting anything.
But no, the package was addressed to me.
Wonder what it could be?
I signed whatever that machine is called that Fed Ex and UPS use, thanked the guy, and then took the package inside.
Wow! Who sent me something?
The address was North Carolina.
Hmm? I don’t know anyone there.
I got a steak knife and cut through the tape and opened the box.
Then I cut through inches of bubble wrap.
Whatever was in the box must be fragile.
Maybe a vase?
Who knows? But whatever was in the box . . .
And then . . .
Finally the bubble wrap was off and . . .
The herbal supplement I ordered on-line the other day.
Silly me.
I was disappointed at first . . .
But then I realized . . .
I just had a STMLE!  A Short Term Memory Loss Episode!
Just as I was going to feel nervous that Alzheimer’s might be 
setting in . . .
I realized something else . . .
Even though I just had a STMLE . . .
I had lots of fun anticipating what was in the box and who might have sent me a gift.
And because I order lots of stuff on the Internet and from catalogs . . .
And because I’m probably going to continue to have STMLE’s . . .
Short term memory loss doesn’t have to be scary!
It can be like Christmas all year long.

Always, Em-Musing

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yesterday I was Googling my blog to see where it came up and  . . .
I saw that an agent had Googled it too!
Merry Christmas to me!
Even if this agent didn’t want me as a client . . .
They at least Googled my blog.
So of course I checked to see who the agent was who Googled me.
Agent, Pulsa Termurah
Huh. Never heard of her.
Or is it a him?
And then there was this:
Agent pulsa menyediakan bermacam produk pulsa murah yang bisa langsung Anda nikmati sendiri atau untuk dijual ke konsumen. Produk-produk tersebut bisa Anda dapatkan dengan harga yang sangat murah. Berikut ini adalah daftar produk yang tersedia di tempat kami:

What were they saying to me?
And what language is it?
Strange that an agent would contact me in a foreign language.
I then exited out. Thankfully, there was a link that said “translate.”
And so I hit the link and—voila!
The text instantly translated to English.
It was an Indonesian site.
Do they have literary agents in Indonesia?
Well, OK . . .
I really wanted a New York agent. . .
Or at least one in the U.S. . . .
Or even one in Europe . . .
But if an Indonesian agent was interested in me then . . .
Wait a minute . . .
Not literary agent.
A selling agent.
They want me to sell some of their products!
Oh, well . . .
It still felt great for a few minutes to feel the excitement of what it would be like getting contacted by an agent.
But then just this morning . . .
A strange thing happened.
I Googled my blog’s name again to find this “agent” again . . .
And it wasn’t there.
But what I found instead was a writer site that sounded intriguing.
It gives you tips on how to promote your blog on the Internet.
Here’s the link:
I’m going to have to spend some time with that site and a good cup of coffee.
And then there was a link to the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in Dayton in 2010.
All of a sudden, it felt like fireworks went off in my brain! (hope it wasn't a stroke)
My 2010 goal was to go to writer conferences and “pitch” How Em Found Her Cha Ch to literary agents.
And I still will.
But something resonated with me about this workshop. It's geared for writing humor.
And so I registered for it!
I’m so excited!
Not only am I going (there was chance registration was already closed) . . .
But by registering . . .
I’ve already begun working on my writing goals for 2010!
And so . . .
Merry Christmas to me!
And this time
For real!

Always, Em-Musing

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Flesh hanging down in chunks . . .
From blisters recently burst . . .
That’s what’s going on in my mouth this morning.
For heaven’s sake!
When will I ever learn?
Last night I went to my daughter’s house for dinner.
“Is dinner ready?” I asked. “I’m starving.”
And really, how pathetic was that statement?
I was hungry, but not starving.
It wasn’t like I was going to fall over and die from hunger pangs.
But no sooner had my daughter taken the pizza out of the oven . . .
Then I was on top of it with a pizza cutter in hand . . .
And seconds later . . .
Damn it!
What was wrong with my brain?
After years of knowing pizza from an oven has piping hot cheese . . .
I still bit into it!
I also do it with take-out coffee.
Especially from Starbucks.
Of course the coffee is hot.
But I can hardly wait for it to cool before I  . . .
Burn my tongue and lips!
And if I’ve really taken a big gulp . . .
I’ll burn my tonsils too.
I'm afraid if I don't stop doing this . . .
I'll be in my doctor's office one day complaining that I can't taste anything anymore.
He’s going to look in my mouth and say . . .
“HCS? What’s that?”
“Hot Cheese Syndrome. Your taste buds are seared from years of burning your mouth with hot pizza cheese.”
“Is there a cure?”
“No. But there is a clinical trial for HCS if you’re interested.”
“Tell me more.”
“They’re finding that HCS originates in the brain.”
“It’s fascinating. They think people with HCS actually have masochistic rogue brain cells that override common sense. Do you want to sign up?”
“Absolutely! I’ll do anything to help prevent others from the pain and suffering of Hot Cheese Syndrome.”

Aways, Em-Musing

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I went to see my two granddaughters sing at their church last night.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
While I held my one-year-old grandson, I relaxed into the evening performance of Christmas carols.
First came the pre-schoolers.
I listened while they sang their little hearts out.
Was it because they were so young?
Or they weren’t loud enough?
Because I couldn’t follow along.
What were they singing?
After singing three nondescript songs, they were followed by the kindergarteners.
One of my granddaughters was in that group.
Surely, they'd sing more distinctly and louder.
And surely, they'd sing some good ole’ Christmas favorites.
Do Catholics sing different Christmas songs, I wondered.
Or are there just new Christmas songs?
Because I didn’t know any one of these either.
No, I take that back.
I knew Jingle Bells.
Next came the first graders.
My other granddaughter was in this group.
Now some songs I know—surely.
Well . . .
I knew the first song.
But after that . . .
I didn’t know any other one.
“Do you know these songs?” I whispered to my daughter next to me.
I thought I was getting dementia.
I thought that maybe I’d forgotten all these Christmas songs.
I thought that these were really the Christmas favorites . . .
And I’d just lost my memory and didn’t know it . . .
Or the songs.
When the other groups got up and sang, I knew only two of their songs.
And that got me wondering . . .
Why all these strange, non-melodic Christmas songs that no one can sing or hum to?
I'd bet that besides me and my daughter not knowing these songs . . .
Probably the entire church audience didn’t know them  either.
And probably the only one who did know these songs was the music teacher.
And then I remembered . . .
(Yeah! I didn’t lose my memory!)
When my daughters also sang in Christmas recitals years ago . . .
I hardly knew any of those songs either.
Why do these music teachers do this?
Why do they make children sing songs that never became favorites?
Obviously if they were great songs, there would be recordings of them . . .
By famous singers.
So are all these songs the “side 2” on 45's?
That no one listened to.
And by 45’s, I mean vinyl.
What records were made of.
Rarely did you get a 45 that had 2 great songs on it.
There was the side with the “hit” and the side with the dud.
So is that what music teachers are making our kids sing . . .
Christmas duds?
And why?
Radio stations play the same Christmas music 24/7 . . .
Because we all know the songs . . .
And can sing along with the songs . . .
Or at least hum to the songs . . .
And bounce in our car seats with some of the songs.
So please all you music teachers . . .
Some things in life you just can’t improve on.
And that’s Christmas songs.

Always, Em-Musing