Category Archives: HUMBLE PIE

Verborum Vomitus

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Verborum vomitus is Latin for “verbal vomit”.  I had a an attack of verborum vomitus today while at the post office.  It was not pretty.

I remember when I was a kid/teenager/adult and I would be with my mom and she would be checking out or something where she did not need to have a conversation with anyone but instead chatted the whole time, giving information that I knew the person being verbally vomited on could not care less about.  And I would feel bad for the person who had to listen.IMG_1430

Well Karma is a b*tch, ain’t it?

Because I have entered that phase of my life where Lord help me, I verbally vomit all over the place.  Add caffeine to the mix and I am like a college freshman after their first frat party….spewing forth all over the place.

My friends from church used to love when I would be at a party and have a cup or two of coffee because I would put on a verbal show for them.  Often when we would leave the party,  I would have to ask my poor daughter if I had crossed any lines as once I got going it was like I had lost all sense of decorum and stuff would just fly from my mouth without first having been sifted through my brain filter.  I have never taken speed but I can imagine it must be something like that.

So today I had to venture out to mail some packages and I did not want to get all cleaned up just to run to the post office (remember I live in the country, my mailman has seen me in every early morning get-up imaginable and every hair color/style/cut known to man so to run to the local PO in my painting clothes and no make-up is not a big deal.) but since I had gotten the notion to buzz on side of my head in the delusion of having a funkier hairstyle and it turned out looking like I have mange, I threw a scarf around my head and hoped to meet no one I knew.

Luckily as I pulled into the parking lot of the PO, there was nary a car there so I grabbed my packages and ran in.  I haven’t been to the PO in ages and the last time I was there, the Postmistress was not real friendly and so I was pleasantly surprised to see a new woman behind the counter and she was very friendly.

Big Mistake on her part….not only had I had two STRONG cups of coffee but I had also not eaten so I was on a wild caffeine high, plus when I get nervous, I talk more and faster and my voice octave rises.  OMG.  I chatted up such a storm that papers were flying around and she was forgetting to put labels on my packages, and yet, I kept talking….faster and faster…..higher and higher…..I felt like I could not stop eventhough I was getting this…..IMG_1429I even showed her my mange spot….dear Lord….what is wrong with me?

I can just imagine the story she will tell tonight over dinner about the crazy woman in the red crocs and purple sweats in the big black coat with a scarf around her head who has a bald spot in her orangutan orange hair because she thought she would look better with it cut like that…..man, what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on that wall!

Till next time,

I remain your caffeinated Queen

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WHEN THE FAT LADY SINGS….OR NOT

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When I was 46, I decided to take singing lessons.  I had never sung in any kind of choir, nor did people ever tell me that I had a good voice.  It was just one of those things I had thought I might like and since I wasn’t getting any younger,  now was the perfect time.  I found a wonderful teacher who was just starting her vocal school and my daughter and I signed up.  That first year there were four of us.  A five year old, a thirteen year old,  an 18 year old and me.  My first concert was in our teacher’s living room with 8 people there (we could each invite two guests).  My solo was, “The Little Drummer Boy” and I was going to play the bongos also.  I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, so singing and playing the bongos was going to be a stretch for me.  I was absolutely terrified.  My heart was playing “Flight of the Bumblebees” in my chest and someone had replaced my tongue with fly paper.   I can still remember the terror some 12 years later; that’s how scared I was.  It’s funny how you just want to get it over with but as soon as you finish, you think, “Gee, I wish I could do it again”.  I think you realize that it didn’t kill you and no one had an eardrum burst so maybe the second time it would be more fun for you.  Unfortunately, your one shot at stardom is just that….one shot.  So you think next time you won’t be so nervous so you can enjoy it.  Ha! The next time I sang, it was in a bigger venue and there were more people watching and I had to sing an operatic aria in Italian.   Now you must know this, what I lacked in natural talent, I could make up for in volume. Some how I had gotten it in my mind that notes that couldn’t be hit in a normal voice might be hit in tens of decibels.  Well ya gotta give me credit for trying, eh?  I suppose had I practiced more than an hour a week, I might have improved but somehow I never seemed to make the time.   Where I did shine tho, was in “The Ham Factor”.  I loved, loved, loved being on stage singing more humorous songs.  My “Second Hand Rose” was legendary as I made up a costume for the song that had everyone laughing.   But as the years went by and the school got more and more students we no longer were able to do a second song during our recital so there went my talents.  But select students were often asked to perform for special events and I was thrilled to be picked to do a “USO” type show for a group of vets and their guests.  I was to sing, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” dressed up like a vamp from the 40’s.  “In the bag”, thought I.  You know that old saying, “Pride goeth before the fall”?  Well, I fell flat on my face…not literally this time but performance wise.  We normally had our teacher’s husband accompany us on a piano and he was so good that if we messed up, he could play notes to help us get back on track.  This time, tho, we were working with taped music so if you got lost, you were sunk. Let’s just say I sunk faster than the Titanic.  I had been so cocky that I knew the song (doesn’t everyone?) that I skimped on practicing it and when I got out there to sing and messed up on the first verse, I went BLANK.   65 people were staring at me and I was standing there looking like a deer in headlights with my mouth opening and shutting like a fish out of water.  And the music just keeps on playing and I just want the floor to open up and swallow me and I can feel my cheeks flushing with embarrassment and tears of humiliation popping up in my eyes.  It is not a feeling that I ever wish to experience again.  I tried to get the audience to sing along but I think they were too confused at my performance to understand what to do.  And wouldn’t you know it, three people were taping it for our teacher so we could see ourselves and critique it at the next class.  After viewing it, my teacher didn’t have the heart to make me watch it!

My last performance was another aria only this time in French.  I had barely gotten by on my pronunciation in Italian but French was so much harder, since you have to add some odd vocal noises to some words so already I was in over my head.  Does anyone see a pattern here?  There must be some syndrome where knuckleheads like me never learn from their mistakes.  The song was, “Habanerra” from the opera, “Carmen” and it is pretty well known so I wasn’t going to be able to fake my way thru it.  A week before the recital (which now had grown quite large) it was decided that I would just sing the first part of the song  along with the very familiar chorus  since I was struggling with the second part.  Fine by me.  I decided to dress the part and had a large fringed shawl that I was going to wear.  There were going to be three men accompanying me on instruments and they would be on the stage with me.  I thought it would be cool to really play the part of Carmen and flirt with the men while I was singing.  By this time I am 50 years old and mental pause has started so I should have realized that there was no way this side of Glory, that I could remember all the words, hit the right notes and flirt all at the same time.  So I start singing and flinging my ample hips around and swinging my shawl around the men and suddenly I find myself singing parts of the second verse and can’t figure out how to get back to the first verse.  And all this is happening in my mind while my hips are still flinging and I am still singing  and everyone in the audience is smiling away.  Except for my teacher and some of the students who have sung this song before.  They know I am screwed up and I can see the terror on their faces not knowing how in Carmen’s name am I going to get back on track.  I can feel the doe eyes starting and fish gulping is approaching fast when I remember something a great local singer had once told me after I had asked him if he ever forgets the words.  He told me he “La La La’s” until the words pop back and no one is the wiser. (Easy for him to say as I’m sure he has never made guppy faces at an audience in terror.)   So I sprung into some La La La’s until I could figure out how to get back to the first part of the song and I could see my teacher’s face relax  as I found my way back and finished with a flourish and a rose between my teeth.  Ham, baby, ham.   When I walked off that stage, I knew that the fat lady had sung her last song and that the curtain had fallen as I was just too old for that  *&^%.

LEGENDS OF MY FALLS PART TWO

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Lets time-warp up to the 80’s…

Place:  Duluth International Airport (Seriously?…International?)

Players:  Me and my husband, daughter; my sister and her family;  a group of strangers

Scene:  We are all out on the observation deck waiting for my parent’s flight to come in.  See plane coming so we all are standing at the north window…plane lands and taxi’s over to the other side of the deck so we all move emnmasse to the other side.  Somehow my sister’s 6yr old son gets behind me and I fall on top on him.  Everyone turns to look as my nephew struggles to get out from under me and all I can do is laugh.  My husband is loudly whispering, “Get up, people are looking at you”.  Like I didn’t know that?  The only way to save face in this situation is to just laugh like it’s no big deal!!

The next really big fall happens in the next millennium.

Place:  The big conference room at the Edgewater Motel.

Players:  Me, my friend Connie, a room full of rug hookers

Scene:  It was during a week long rug school that I was attending and I was chatting with a bunch of women   and I was walking away when my friend said something funny .  Never one to let an opportunity pass to give my two cents worth of comic commentary, I whipped around to say my shtick.  At least my top part of my body whipped around…my bottom half was still heading in the other direction.  Well there must be some law of physics that I broke because I found myself going backwards at warp speed unable to stop…..faster and faster I went all the while my arms were whirling like some frantic human windmill.  It all happened in slow motion and I remember thinking, “Oh this is going to end badly and painfully” and for once in my life, I was right!  I crashed into the banquet tables that the ladies were sitting at, smashing my head on the edge of the table, eyeglasses went flying off my face and hitting my head a second time under the table on the leg brace.  Picture this…..most of the ladies at this event are retirement age or older so they are shocked  at the behavior of my friend who was laughing hysterically at the sight she just witnessed. She said I looked like the guy in that stop smoking commercial who goes crashing backward throughout his office building to the outside to have a smoke.  And she had known me long enough not to be surprised at anything I did.  I, of course, was laughing hysterically myself, still under the table.  The ladies were sure I had either had a heart attack or a seizure and they wanted me to lay still and call for help.   It took a few minutes to assure them that I was OK and I didn’t need help (just a new pair of panties!).   The next day I wore a helmet with a sign on the back that read: “WARNING: THIS WOMAN BACKS UP UNEXPECTEDLY”

My latest fall happened just last month and I think it was my best one to date.

Place:  Waiting room at the OB/GYN office

Players:  Me, a guy I went to high school with, strangers and the ultrasound nurse

Scene: As I was checking in, I noticed a man sitting all by himself in the waiting room that I had gone to high school with.  My first thought was, “Crap, of all days not to wear make-up” and my second one was to wonder if I could pretend not to recognize him.  But I figured he would wonder why I didn’t say hello so I sucked it up and went over to him feigning happiness in seeing him again.  Well I needn’t have worried about him recognizing me as I had to explain to him who I was.  I sat down next to him and we began to chat.  I should have known it could only go downhill after he asked if I was pregnant.  OK, I might look pregnant but holy crap, I am 57 so the chances of me being pregnant should be pretty dang slim even to a guy who never married.  So now I am getting embarrassed, thinking, “Holy crap, I must really be a cow if old Roy boy thinks I am pregnant” and when I get embarrassed I kinda run on all cylinders.  So there I am, talking a mile a minute, not even making any sense and the ultrasound nurse comes out and calls my name.  In my haste to escape, I somehow got my feet tangled up in my purse handles and as I was attempting to get up and away, I stepped forward and before I knew what was happening, I was on my way down to the floor.  I had just had both wrists operated on and in my frantic attempt to break my fall, I landed on my wrists, undoing any benefits of said operations.  The look on the nurse’s face was priceless.  She came running over to me asking if I was ok and what was I doing?…..laughing like a hyena, trying to get up more gracefully than I had gone down.  I never even turned around to see what Roy had done or what the other folks in the waiting room had done.  I had just hoped that no one had gotten it on video.  I couldn’t stop laughing and I had the nurse laughing and apologizing for laughing during my whole appointment.  She did come up with a silver lining to my humiliation.  “At least you didn’t wet your pants when you fell”.  I have since taken that as my life motto.  No matter what happens to me now, I can always tell myself, “At least you didn’t wet your pants”!

Aside

I was not born graceful.  I had permanent iodine marks on my knees and elbows my entire childhood. As I got older, I realized that I was not a klutz as I was lead to believe but a very sensitive human who could feel the earth’s rotations and it would send me on a cosmic journey which always resulted in a crash landing.  This is a record of some of my more memorable flights!

        Star date:  1950’s

Setting:  Any playground

See Robyn run.  See Robyn trip.  See Robyn fly thru the air.  See Robyn fall.  See Robyn see blood. Hear Robyn scream.

Star date:  1972

Setting:  Glass Block Dept. store stairs leading to basement.

My good friend and I were all decked out in the latest fashion.  Maxi coat, chunky heeled boots, large floppy hats and big hippie chick earring.  Man, did we think we were cool.  We were walking down the stairs when all of a sudden my heel got caught in the hem of my Maxi coat and I was airborne.  There was nothing between me and the landing except an elderly woman.  I must have decided that landing on her was going to be softer than landing on the linoleum as I found myself laying on top of her while she was screaming “Get off of me. Get off of me.”  I must admit it is pretty hard to be cool after you have taken out an elderly person….even in a Maxi coat, chunky heeled boots, large floppy hat and big hippie chick earrings.

Star date:  1973

Setting:  New stairwell in Morgan Park HS

After some classmates decided to try to burn the school down, a new wing was added and the stairs leading down from the second floor to the first had these tread that were gritty and my dear friend (yes the same one as above) had a unnatural fear of falling down them and losing her teeth.  You must remember this was the 70’s and we had all smoked the “demon weed” at one time or another and some of us were left with some odd flashbacks.  One fine day, we were going down those stairs, when I must have stepped on a piece of grit and it threw my balance off because before I knew what was happening I was bodysurfing on the back of my good friend and we were headed for a hard, dry landing.  Were we alone in this death-defying action?  Oh no.  It was crowded with other students who somehow had managed to escape the deadly grit.  When my good friend would talk to me again, I asked her what she was thinking as we flew past the other students.  “My teeth”.  “All I could think of was losing my teeth”!   I don’t think she ever took that stairwell again….at least not with me behind her.

Star date:  1975

Setting:  Top of stairs in first apartment leading to outside door

This was my first actual “date” with my first local rockstar crush.  I had to look hot.  I had to stand out from the rest of his groupies.  I had to be special.  Short dress…check.   Sexy platform sandals…check.   Control-top pantyhose…check (afterall, this was my first date!)  Lookin’ good.  Ready to get down, get funky.   Rockstar shows up.  Appreciates what he sees.  Off we go.   Well, actually I was the only one going.  Going down.  Down the stairs.  Tumblin’ down.  All 16 steps.  Had wanted to stand out.  Had wanted to be special.   Mission accomplished.

Star date:  1975

Setting:  Back door of Upper Deck bar/dance hall

After romance with Rockstar took a nose dive, I met Mr. Class from Anoka.  Refined, good looking, gentlemanly, wealthy parents.  A real catch, if you know what I mean.  First date and I wanted to impress him and show him that I was a real lady, worthy of a man of his caliber.  Dressed conservatively.  Mauve corduroy bell bottom pants.  Matching turtleneck sweater.  Mom’s mauve coat with real wolf fur trim.  I was up to my eyeballs in ladylike mauve.  Took me dancing.  Had only half glass of wine.  Didn’t want him to think me a lush.  As we were exiting, my toe caught the lip of the threshold and out the door I flew.  I landed on all fours in the slush.  In the alley.  A woman walking in said in a loud voice, “Look how drunk she is.  She can’t even stand up”.    And you are wondering, dear reader, what happened to Mr. Class?  He ended up with a classmate of mine, who really was a lady…..who never in her life wore mauve.

TO BE CONTINUED…………….

LEGENDS OF MY FALLS PART 1