Saturday, October 25, 2014

Talking Trash Unplugged

I readily admit I'm a dinosaur...a throw back to pen and pencil sets, boxes of party invitations and simple white thank you notes.
I come from a place long ago and far away where the web was something we cleaned out from under the beds.
A cell phone was where you made your one call...usually to a lawyer.

A twitter was me at 15, all worked up and waiting for the cute guy in the back of the class to call. 
A text was written words, found within the contents of a book...which btw was something held in one hand leaving the other hand free for turning the pages to read...licking the index finger optional.
I didn't do research with an ISP, but with the DDC...Dewey Decimal System.
And back in the day, our social media consisted of Friday announcements...including next week's lunch menu...coming out of a scratchy, school loudspeaker, the daily Courier Gazette newspaper and the back of the Sunday church bulletin. Any information missed by these three were covered by the network. Not the network we use today, but the working network of Small Town America mothers who collectively, could ferret out and deliver more information than Yahoo ever could...on its best day!
It's not that I grew up during the Dark Ages. No sirreebob. I had, after all, seen the movie Desk Set for corn's sake!
I knew computers were these huge behemoths that required data entry cards. Back in the day, key punch operators were in great demand, but sadly have gone the way of the dodo bird and the guy with the cocked hat who greeted you with "Fill 'er up ma'am?" and "Check under the hood?" Heralded as the time saver to beat all times savers, computers have wreaked havoc since.
What they didn't say at the time was eventually time saved meant less employees needed. Now these tellers, cashiers, etc. spend their free time twiddling their thumbs standing in an unemployment line or asking "Super size it?"
(Listen up all you teachers out there. With the increased handing out of pc's instead of textbooks in could be next to join the ranks of the obsolete if we're not careful!)
I don't know about y'all, but I like talking to a real person, not an AI. And please,  don't even get me started on Siri!  That chick is supposed to understand several languages, one being English, but I'm guessing Twanglish wasn't included in her programming nor is it in her wheelhouse! Fact is, we're not even on speaking terms until she drops her high falutin' attitude!
(But I squirrel-gress.)
What I'm getting at is that with...ahem...progress, comes change and not always for the best.
Gone are passing notes between classes and family discussions around the supper table.
 Why bother when a text can be sent during class and as far as catching up with one another as a family? That now takes place at opposite ends of a couch or a house.
(If evolution is for real, I for one shudder to think of the coming generations of goose necked kiddos that will be a direct result of their ancestors staring at their laps 24/7!  I know that area below the equator is the center of a teenage boy's world, but really. As grown ups, can we not got out to dinner or a movie without constantly checking our phones?)
Gone are typing and shorthand classes. Once prized skills, now replaced by cyber shorthand with garbled messages containing nothing but letters like lol, brb, and omg. Which begs the question...WTH?
Gone is learning to tell time on an actual clock...with hands...and with it, knowing that 20 'til 7 and 6:40 are the same cotton picking thing.

And lest I forget, heaven help us if the power ever fails. No one...and I do mean no one...below the age of 39 knows how to make change without a screen to tell them. And I cringe when they count it back to me! Oy vey!

(Sometimes...just for gits and shiggles you understand...I like to confuse the heck out of them. If My total is say $9.01, I'll hand 'em a twenty and a dime. They usually manage in time to figure out how to punch it in, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying the heck out it. As I watch the dazed look in their eyes, I think to myself..."That'll learn ya, dern ya!")
What's sad is that as the computers get smaller, so do our lives.
The art of conversation is disappearing right along with the sharing of feelings only to be replaced by hastily sent emoticons.

(Farewell interaction face to face. You've been replaced by Internet chatrooms and Facebook!)
But for me, a lover of words, one of the saddest things progress has wrought is the demise of the written word...down to the threat of removing cursive writing being taught in school.
I can't conceive a world where beautiful handwriting isn't considered a gift, a art form.
(If I can't get to Paris, at least I have a beautiful friend who remembers me. Thank you Cindy for the card...although I still don't know why you couldn't have hid me in your carryon!) 
To think that some will never experience the thrill of opening up an archaic mailbox to pull out a card or letter with their name hand written on it. To never know the joy of checking the postmark for some distant, exotic land or just from the next town over is inconceivable to me.
( I had hoped for a souvenir named Jacques, but a card is almost as good! And being thought of even better than Jacques!)
 How sad to miss the excitement of unfolding the pages and reading words written in a handwriting, that much like a fingerprint, is unique only to the author. To never have  memories tucked inside an envelope, as it and its contents are placed in a box for safe keeping to share with future generations. Gentle mementos, tucked safely away to be reread over and over to our heart's content. Rereading and remembering as if it was just yesterday. And knowing it was sent, not just with a stamp, but with love.
How can we cheat future generations out of such a treasure?
There's only way I know of and that's to go back. Now I know they say going backwards is a mistake, but I have to disagree. There are times when it is best. Times, for example, like dancing the Texas two step or walking out of a room buck nekkid. I happen to believe this is one of those times when doing it the old-fashioned way is actually progress in reverse.
I say it's high time we pull our heads out of our butts laps, start taking the time to remember how to visit out loud, say we love you without it only being on FB or in a text, and most of all, learn to love the sound of our own voices.

I'm willing to give it a go and I'm thinking this ought to be a piece of cake.
'Cause y'all know me...
I already got the last one down pat!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pot Calling the Kettle Verdigris

I wrote a post yesterday and besides being really long, it was...if I say so myself...really clever.  For instance, I had wrote...and I quote... the last three great inventions I personally had witnessed were pantyhose, push up bras and air conditioning, but y'all will never get to read the rest of it.
Why you ask?
Because I shelved it.
Again you ask, why?
Because it was about the pros and cons of Facebook.
Man alive, I was on fire, ranting and raving about the pits and perils of FB'ing with way more cons than pros.

It was a pip!
But as I was proofing it, would you believe spellcheck quit working.  Now I'm not one to turn in homework half done so I stepped away to let my computer...and down.
After a while, I sat back down and reread what I wrote and guess what?
I made myself angry!
How dare I take it upon myself to tell people what they should or should not do when it comes to Facebook.  How dare I take it upon myself to be Her Supreme High Horse...a self-appointed judge, censor and all around know-it-all?
If I had hit publish, y'all I would have been just as guilty as those people on Facebook I was criticizing for thinking they knew best.
Simply put...I'm nobody's boss and I don't own an answer bag.  A red.neck Chic bag...yes, but a bag with all the answers to life's

If I truly was the Grand Poobah of knowledge, trust me,  I wouldn't be sitting in a tiny house still in my pajamas nor would I be schlepping junk around for a living and shopping at TJ Maxx.
Instead, I'd be traveling the countryside on a lecture tour, dressed to the nines, wearing a tasselled fez and getting paid a butt-load of money for sharing my wisdom on how to succeed at life!
So no, I'm not going to throw anyone under the bus. Y'all have the right to publish, share and say anything you want...fact checked or not (but oh how I wish...).  I am not the FB police and there is no gold badge pinned to my pushup bra'd bosom to say otherwise.
From now on, if I happen to be on FB and read or see something I don't necessarily agree with or like, I'll just discreetly scroll by it. No where is there a law written saying I have to do differently. For me, it's just that simple.
BTW...did you happen to notice I said if?
I ask because it's an important if.
You might want to get comfortable or take a potty break right about now 'cause I'm fixing to talk the ears off a billy goat!

(Don't ask me where I found this. It was so long ago I don't remember, but if you know the source, please let me know!) 
When I signed on to Facebook I had hoped to reconnect with old friends and make new ones...and I have. I've even been blessed to be reunited with family I hadn't talked to in years. What I hadn't planned on was the green eyed monster becoming a frequent guest as well, but I'm only human...and a girl human at that. And let's face it ladies...we are our own worst enemy when it comes to feelings of inadequacy.

(By the all these words make my butt look big?)
A daily bombardment of perfect families, perfect homes, perfect lives...not to mention perfect makeup...well how on God's green earth was I supposed to measure up?
Sometimes I'd see photos of projects and all the "likes" and comments that would pour in and I'd think whoa Nelly. Didn't I see that idea somewhere else like a hundred years ago and yet, they have the audacity to take full credit for it? Really? Is that the way to get stealing someone's ideas? But as the old saying goes...not my circus, not my monkeys...which I will readily admit to stealing from an old Polish proverb.
(Have I ever mentioned I can't remember your name seconds after meeting you, but I can remember who did or said what first forever? It's a glitch in the ol' brain waves y'all and a curse!)
Reading success story after success story on shows and knowing the shows we were doing weren't nearly so profitable left me thinking I was doing something wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I was happy for those who were achieving their goals, but truth be told, I was jealous as hell well.  I found myself questioning myself...and the answers I came up with weren't flattering.
But then I had an epiphany.
What if, contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to be true to be on the Internet.

Now I'm not about to start calling anyone a liar. Law no! Remember, I'm not the Grand Poobah, but rather a chubby lady who tries to see the whole picture and not just the photo shopped one.
We all want to put our best face forward and to that end, we all tend to spin things just a smidge...including me twirling her tassel! Well...maybe some spinning more than just a smidge and by more, I mean creating a whole new identity in Bizarro World.
So maybe, just maybe, all these perfect people aren't so perfect after all.
And maybe, just maybe, they think anything less than perfect is not worthy to share.
What if maybe, just maybe, they're not trying to convince me, but themselves life has to be one big ol' perfect and pretty photo.
But the thing is that even with this realization, I still find myself going Kermit from time to time. So I've come to this conclusion.
I'm a flat tire in dire need of changing and the first thing I need to do is remove the rusty lugnuts keeping me from rolling forward.

(I'm going in!) 
Henceforth, (I know...very GB sounding isn't it?)...ahem...henceforth, the everyday comings and goings (you know...the boring stuff) of Debbie and Danny will be the only things I'll be posting on my personal page.  I'll still be sharing my brain farts as they come and go, but anything related to antiques, markets, Cat Daddy appearances and the continuing misadventures of the Ups...Floozied and Hurriet of As The Wheel Turns fame...will now be posted on my business page, Talking Trash.
Henceforth, if you send me a friend request, unless I know one of the following, I'll probably redirect you to my business page.
1. Your significant other's name.
2. At least one of your kid's names.
3. Your dog/pet's name.
4. We actually have met at some point in time.

(Of course, #4 will require you to remind me...for as Jenn says "I'll meet you today...and I'll meet you tomorrow!")
If we are blessed to meet in real time, hit it off and if you don't mind looking at photos of me and mine puttering through life...gravy stains and all...then you can bet your boots you will be my friend forever and not just on Facebook!

Jealousy and fear are stagnating. I refuse to be a prisoner of either and I think it's time to use my get out of jail free card.

It's a start.

Besides...I never did look good in green.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cloudy With a Chance of Silver Linings

For those of you who don't do shows...especially outdoor venues...I'd like to offer the following comparison.
(Getting things just where I want 'em!)
 Preparing and doing an outdoor show...especially a long much like having a 10 lb. baby.
The body doesn't snap back as fast as one would like it to.
There's a lot of pain...not to mention yelling...involved before it's over...especially in the lower back.
And it takes at least 6 weeks to fully recover.
And like child birth, one is not ready to do another until the memory of the labor pains fades.
(If it's a blurry photo, y'all know I took it!)
This show was no exception and I came home feeling as if I had just delivered quadruplets!
(I look like one hot mess straight out of the delivery room!)
To say it was hot would be an understatement. Y'all, it was hotter than Egypt and respite only came after a torrential thunderstorm the last Thursday of the show. least it was cool the last three days of the show and just in time for load out.
The crowd was there, but honestly I have no idea who these people were. I have never in all my born days spent so much time wiping rings off the furniture where people had set their beer bottles or glasses of ice tea. I got to wishing I had packed coasters to hand out! Not that they would have probably used them mind you. Fact is, they'd probably have asked for salt and tried to eat 'em!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
To add insult to injury, they also felt like load testing every chair in the joint. At one point I considered charging a quarter per butt. I think I could have doubled our money, but Cat Daddy nixed my idea. His brain fart was to go to the Dollar General and buy up all the packages of tube socks which I nixed. I figured they'd only want to buy one pair at a time...or sock!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
Then there were the secret shoppers and by secret I mean they had no intention of buying anything. They were looky-loos, there to secretly photograph ideas for copying with nary a never mind to think to ask permission. Just pull that ol' phone out and start snapping. I even caught a certain "no photographs please" celebrity (whose name I won't mention) blatantly taking photos of a license plate display we had worked our tail ends off putting together. It got so bad, I finally started taking photos of them taking photos of our handiwork. You should of seen the looks that got!
(Oh yes I did)

 If it sounds like I'm on a tear, heaven help me, but yes I am.
Y'all know me...right? I'm the original Pollyanna, but this show tested even my patience. I'm proud to announce no one went home missing the tops of their heads or half their behinds. How was I able to keep my temper in check you ask?
Because as hard as this show is to do and in spite of the trials and tribulations,
(Did I mention I'm thinking of changing my name to Job?)
it was a success.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
Success can be measured in many different ways. For me, a successful show is measured by the people who have touched me and I them. Success is having perfect (and I mean perfect in every way) come up and introduce themselves with the feeling as if they've known you forever. There isn't enough money in the world to buy that feeling. In fact, it can't be bought or's too priceless.

For every four "tire kickers"  who came by, there was that one who knew what they wanted and were a delight to work and visit with.
For every water ring I wiped off, there was twice as many tears of joy wiped off at seeing my birds of a feather I only get to see twice a year.
For that one guy who thought our needlepoint chair was there just for him to sit on while checking football scores, there was that one happy shopper who bought the whole set to take home to her family.
Yes it was hot, but when in Texas isn't it? Heck, everyone who's ever been to Texas knows we only have three seasons...summer, football and Christmas! As far as rain goes, it's either a drought or a in between. And goodness only knows, that part of Texas will take any moisture from the it buckets or dribbles...down to the last drop God sends.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
As far as sales go, I have to admit we're kinda spoilt. I always set two money goals in anticipation of what we can reasonably expect to do...a minimum and because I'm a glass half full type of gal...the maximum. We're used to doing about half our sales opening weekend and that didn't happen this show. It took the full length---9 days---to reach our minimum goal, but reach it we did. (It may not be polite to discuss money, but actually we were about halfway between the two...which ain't half bad!) I'm sharing this with y'all because it's one of the main reasons we go. No where else can we move that much merchandise at a fair price quickly. Forget what Country Living said. Zapp Hall is not the field for bargains, but that's a whole 'nother post (along with the copycats with their surreptitious photo bombing) and I'll be addressing both in the near future...grrr!
The second reason we put up with the heat, rude people, fire ants, scorpions, snakes, and anything else thrown at us, is the glorious sideshow of people who inhabit that field with us for nine days.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)
This motley crew I share dirt all up and down Hwy. 237 with are like no others on the planet. They're vagabonds thirsting for adventures, bold, brazen, more than a little throwed off and good...good hearted, good natured, good for a laugh, and most importantly, good friends.
They make me laugh, cry and remind me constantly of how blessed I am to be able to do what we do surrounded by love and laughter.
(My pot o'gold filled to the brim with wonderful memories and friends found at the end of the rainbow!)
In six months, when the aches have become distant memories, you better believe I'll be ready to go again. For again, just as in childbirth, what I bring home...and not just in my pockets...makes every pain in the butt well worth it.