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Posts Tagged ‘Bright ideas’

Dear Real Estate Agents and Sellers:

At this juncture in my life, I find myself in the role of both home buyer and seller. As such, I feel qualified to be judgy when it comes to staging a home for prospective buyers.

The MLS photos play an important role in helping buyers decide if they want to schedule a showing.

Some of you have a hot mess.

I’m here to help.

 

There is a shelf above the machines. De-clutter it, and PUT THE DETERGENT, BLEACH AND IRON THERE, FFS!

What am I looking at here? A death trap?

It would only take a hot second to move the coolers for the photo.

Save the creative shots for your art school portfolio.

It would be helpful to provide photos of the inside of the house.

ISO 3/2 with hair salon? I’ve got just the place …

Looks great, right? The reality was … different. As it turns out, this was what appeared to be a frat house, complete with 30 or so liquor bottles and unwashed dishes all over these counters.

Consider asking your child to play elsewhere while you take the photo. (“Just for a second, son. Daddy’s busy.”)

It’s a good idea to finish the yard work BEFORE you take the listing photo, especially if this is the only photo.

W.T.F.?!

And finally, something that may top Catopia above. It’s the final photo, in more ways than one:

Yes, folks, that is a coffin on the porch. No word on whether it is occupied.

Thank you in advance for your renewed attention to detail (for crying out loud).

Sincerely,
Beth

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI,” do that now.

The final church visit was made to a Lutheran church on Palm Sunday. I chose this church for a specific reason: I thought it might actually be one I could attend regularly.

After going to five churches and reaffirming the things I don’t believe and don’t like about church, I thought it might be good to do some research. Thanks to religion.net, I was able to research a variety of world religions. I looked at the site’s chart listing all the various categories for belief (the Bible, communion, heaven, hell, etc.) and followed across to see where my personal convictions matched up with an organized religion.

The top contender appeared to be the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Voila! I had my sixth and final entry of my study.

When I walked up that Sunday, the congregation was preparing for the special Palm Sunday processional. The greeter asked me to sign the guest book, which I did. As in the other church visits, I did not fill out the address because I didn’t really want to be stalked by various church representatives. The greeter, a kind-looking elderly lady was persistent.

“Where are you from?,” she asked. “Bloomingdale,” I replied, naming the nearest city. “Which part?” she probed. “Just up the road,” I said evasively. “Yes, but which part?” she demanded. Luckily, I was saved by another neighbor, Robert, from four doors down, who steered me away to meet his wife Phyllis. Phyllis was sitting alone during the service because Robert had a part as Judas in the Palm Sunday presentation.

Even with the service modified to celebrate Palm Sunday, it felt comfortable – like slipping on an old bathrobe. I was raised Presbyterian, and many aspects of this service were similar to what I remember from services at Highlands Presbyterian Church. I could recite the Nicene Creed without assistance, for example.

One hour later, I was back in my car and ready to go home, mission fulfilled.

One week later, I headed to the courthouse to turn in my bulletins. The clerk shuffled through a basket of papers (what, no computer files?) and pulled out my citation. She stapled the bulletins to it and said I was finished. “That’s it?” I asked. “No receipt?” “That’s it,” she said, looking a little disturbed that I had questioned the system.

Though my husband still gets a kick out of calling me a criminal, I’m pleased with my sentence, and how much I learned. My theory of life is that if something wonderful happens, then that is great in itself. But if something not-so-wonderful happens, then that is OK because it makes a great story.

In other words, bad decisions make good stories.

I guess sometimes crime does pay.

THE END

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V,” do that now.

Next up was a visit I had been both anticipating and dreading. One block away from my house is a Revivalist church. I ambled over there at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night and was met with what sounded like the worst “American Idol” audition ever. A guy was playing the keyboard and warbling hymns with all of his heart and energy. Too bad he was completely tone deaf.

According to the literature foisted upon me when I walked in the door, the church was founded by a married couple when “God began to use them to change the spiritual atmosphere of Savannah and the surrounding areas.” The brochure also said that “speaking with tongues” was not only to be expected but encouraged. Yikes.

I was “sister” here too, and greeted by everyone who came in the sanctuary (I use that term loosely as the building is a one-story concrete structure that looks like it may have been a storage unit at one time). Each person explained that I really should come on a Sunday when there are more people (70 as opposed to 17). After the fourth person made that comment, I finally said, “Well, the important thing is the message, not the number of people, right?” The lady blanched and fled to the other side of the room.

Like most standard services, this one began with a few hymns. Instead of hymnbooks, the church employs technology: an overhead projector and screen. The words were there but, because of the accompanist’s limitations, it was kind of hard to get the melody.

The sermon was not so much a sermon as a collection of anecdotes. One was about a science class and a jar of rocks filled with sand and water. The teacher apparently put in the various items in that order, asking each time if the jar was full. The jar was not full until he poured in the water, which is akin to how God’s love is able to fill in all the cracks in our nasty little human hearts. The pastor was not much of a storyteller, though. He was interrupted about three times by the person who first told him the story (the student) to correct parts he was butchering. And the poor pastor also had an odd habit of adding “Amen” in unexpected places. As in, “The teacher poured in the water, Amen” and “You may be seated, Amen.”

The pastor also offered his thoughts on mental health. According to him, “Depression is not a disease; it is a spiritual problem. It results from turmoil.” Maybe he and Tom Cruise should compare notes and join together to save all of us from unnecessary medication and doctor visits.

After the service, I ran home as fast as I could go. I avoided the road and any lights that could illuminate me and my path. I didn’t want any of the revivalists to see where I live.

Up next: “Yes, but what part?”

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How healthy are you? How willing are you to do the things you need to do to be healthy? Let’s find out!

You are diabetic. It’s time for lunch. What do you eat?
a. A healthy meal featuring protein, fruits and vegetables.
b. Ice cream, baby!

But wait, you have a sore on your toe that won’t heal. The diabetes is obviously affecting your circulation. Now what do you eat for lunch?
a. A healthy meal featuring protein, fruits and vegetables, and then go for a brisk walk around the block.
b. Still ice cream. And also onion rings. (Get off your back!)

You go to the doctor for a routine visit, and he tells you that you are now permanently blind in your left eye. You are:
a. Dismayed. You just thought it was a side effect of one of your many medications.
b. Surprised. You had no idea you couldn’t see out of your left eye.

You have to go to the bathroom. You just had a mini stroke, so you need a little help. What do you do?
a. Wait until someone brings the pee jug to you.
b. Open up your gown and let it go like you are Manneken-Pis.

You are (clearly) having issues with your bladder. The doctor installs a catheter. When do you ask for it to be removed?
a. As soon as possible because CATHETER!
b. Never. It just makes peeing easier.

Your leg is wet. Your catheter tube has come unattached. Do you notice?
a. Yes. Um … pee!
b. No.

Despite physical therapy at the nursing home after your mini stroke, you can’t walk without assistance. To be honest, you have trouble doing anything without help. When do you ask to be released from the nursing home?
a. Not until you can walk and manage tasks on your own.
b. Immediately. Watching TV all day is better from the lift chair. Who cares about the risk of falling?

Once home, your physical therapist tells you not to use the lift chair to help sit and stand. You need to build strength in your legs. What do you do?
a. Listen to her. She knows what she is doing.
b. Tell everyone that she changed her mind. The lift chair is totally fine.

Scoring:
Mostly or all As: Congratulations! You are doing what you need to do to be as healthy as possible. Your family must be so happy!
Mostly Bs: You need to take better care of yourself. Think about how your health issues are affecting your family.
All Bs: Dad?

 

 

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trumpbot-128663

Dear (M)all of ‘Murica:

I’m writing to request information regarding your return/exchange policy on The Donald that we received Nov. 8 as an early Christmas gift.

Some background: We tried to order The Hillary, but were told there was a problem with the email server.

It appears, however, that The Donald has this same glitch, among other problems.

Voice command override:
We tried to program it numerous times with numerous voice samples, but it refuses to respond.

False warning signals:
This model tends to beep for no reason beginning around 3 a.m. We are hard-working Americans who want to get some sleep. We can’t have The Donald bleating codes such as “MERYL” and “NYT” over and over.

Security issues:
The Donald was billed as a unit that would keep us safe. However, I’m more worried about break-ins than ever before. The unit is inside barking, “Come at me, Bro!” and “Cash me outside; how bow dah!,” which I think is egging on those with bad intentions. Plus, it won’t let in the people we invited.

Failure to work with existing systems:
Almost immediately upon arrival, The Donald refused to work with other units already in place. It overrode the sensors on various technology and tried to shut them down. Some systems are back up and running on alternative power, but others still are refusing to connect.

Low energy efficiency:
The Donald was billed as a unit that that would increase energy efficiency and protect the environment. However, the model has two pipes that could start leaking oil at any moment.

These are just five of the many problems with this model. We would like to return The Donald as it clearly is as defective as we had heard prior to receiving it. The limited warranty expired Jan. 20.

Line 25 of your operating manual gives some guidance on your return/exchange policy, but I’d like more details, a timeline and information about a replacement.

I know you have The Pence in stock, but I’m not interested in that model because its features are limited. The Ryan has numerous reported defects. I’ve heard The Sanders is on back order and The Kasich is out of stock indefinitely. What other options do you have? Do I have to wait for The Libtard 2020 or The Snowflake 2024?

Please respond at your earliest convenience. We are losing long-time friends because of The Donald, and it is scaring the children.

Eagerly awaiting a resolution,
Beth (and 65+ million others)

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Dear Leaders of the Democratic Party:

Now that my left-leaning self has cycled through the five stages of grief over not getting to have Clinton as president, I want to do a postmortem of the election like I did in 2016.

Here are things to consider now in preparation for 2020:

▪Pick a candidate people like or at least one they feel they can trust. Likeability shouldn’t be a factor, but it is (see Bush vs. Gore and Obama vs. Romney). Clinton is smart. She is a policy wonk and a hard worker. She has many accomplishments. She also has baggage from Bill, Benghazi, etc. (whether deserved or not is not the focus of this discussion). I loved her. She is a fellow Tracy Flick. However, most Republicans have never liked her and even some die-hard Democrats had trouble getting behind her. A perception of being secretive and scheming doesn’t play well when people are pissed about what they think is a corrupt system that doesn’t help working people. It says something when people would rather vote for the person endorsed by the KKK than your candidate. Yes, misogyny is at play, but so is that baggage. Yes, and some people are racist and xenophobic and voted for Trump because they saw a kindred spirit. That’s the worst part of this Trump win.

Don’t assume people are doing their research. Anti-intellectualism is alive and well. Memes speak louder than researched articles. Address perceptions and concerns in public early and often. Maybe you didn’t think the emails would be this big of a deal but the people who already mistrusted Clinton did, as they saw the private server as more evidence of suspicious behavior. And then there are the false equivalency issues, but that topic also is for another day.

Don’t just talk to other so-called liberal elites. Evaluate carefully the entire electorate. Consider carefully your approach. Promoting Clinton’s 30 years of experience may not have been the right choice in a year where Red State America is angry at the establishment and institutions they perceive to be at fault for the fact that they feel disenfranchised and left behind. It’s easy to blame the president, and they did (and yes, there’s racism at play here too). It doesn’t matter that the GOP has had control of both the Senate and the House for years and didn’t get anything done. Many of those who voted for Trump were mad at everyone in the ideological bubble — conservative elites included. Many Trump voters liked that he was an outsider who didn’t play by the rules. They truly believe he will shake up the system and make changes for good. And maybe he will.

Listen to the people in the party who are suggesting alternatives. Bernie Sanders was discounted, then seen as a nuisance. He finally got on board the Clinton train, but many of his supporters never did. If you really wanted to defeat Trump, you should have gone with a Clinton/Sanders ticket. The Democratic Party would have been more united and not throwing votes Jill Stein’s way.

Don’t alienate most of the country. Though the core liberal base really does believe that we are “stronger together,” many Republicans believe some people are not pulling their fair share. Whether they can or are or can’t because of institutionalized racism is a topic for another day. The fact is that many people — voters — have this perception. Speak to their concerns; their concerns should concern us all.

If you don’t understand the feelings of Red State folks because you don’t see all these people on news programs, then you need to do some research yourself and hold the mainstream media accountable. There was an overwhelming narrative that was contradictory: Clinton is bad (Look at all these emails!) and Clinton is good (Trump is crazy!). Many members of the media did not seek the full story of what was happening. As a result, election night was a surprise.

▪ Don’t ignore concepts that people think are affecting their daily lives — whether they are or not. People are upset about immigration and want something tangible done about it. People are scared of terrorists. People are tired of jobs drying up in the Rust Belt. People are pissed about Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) premiums. Clinton discussed these in the abstract while Trump talked about them in concrete terms, albeit wall-building, ban-implementing, fear-mongering ones. He seemed to put America first — perhaps only white, straight America — but that’s what his audience wanted to hear.

Remember to get out the vote. It’s shocking how many people did not vote.

You have four more years to get the party back on track. Get with it. Listen to Michael Moore. Shift party focus to serving all of America, including the angry white suburban and rural voter (see video above). Figure out concrete solutions to economic issues, homeland threats and fixing the problems with the Affordable Care Act. Hold the Republicans who control the Senate, House and Oval Office accountable for all their policies, and make sure they don’t roll back reproductive rights, rights for the LBGTQ community, support for legal immigration for people of all religions and nationalities, etc. Work with the Republicans to make this country stronger together. Make sure our institutions are working for everyone — the people upset by the past eight years and the people upset at the prospect of the next four.

Better luck in 2020!

Beth

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danteDear Dante Alighieri:

First off, let me say that I love your work. My favorite isThe Divine Comedy,” with particular love for the “Inferno” part. I am an orderly person, so I gravitate to categories. The nine circles of Hell speak to me and my Type A personality.

I went on a work trip last week, and I’d like to add people to the circles, if I may.

Candidate: People who meander in the middle of the airport concourse, weaving side to side and making it difficult to walk around them
Circle of Hell: First circle — limbo (or maybe the vestibule — land of the indecisive)

Candidate: That guy in the bar who won’t let you have a drink in peace
Circle of Hell:
Second circle — lust

Candidate: People who stand in the middle of the moving sidewalk when they clearly should move to the right to allow people to pass
Circle of Hell: Third circle — gluttony

Candidate: People who take up the airplane arm rest immediately upon sitting
Circle of Hell: Fourth circle — greed

Candidate: People who take up seats with their bags in the airport gate area and look at you sullenly if you dare to ask to sit
Circle of Hell: Fifth circle — anger

Candidate: People who put their feet on their airplane tray tables
Circle of Hell: Sixth circle — heresy (because EWW!)

Candidate: People who are unaware of the circumference of their backpacks
Circle of Hell: Seventh circle — violence

Candidate: People who try to get on the plane when their zone has not been called yet
Circle of Hell: Eighth circle — fraud

Candidate: The pilot who wants to tell you too much about the flight when you just want to watch the movie
Circle of Hell: Ninth circle — treachery [Listen, Captain: You do your job (flying), and I’ll do mine (resting).]

Like I said, I appreciate order. I need these people to get it together or go to (their circles of) Hell.

Thank you, Mr. Alighieri, for considering my suggestions.

(Wait … What’s that? I’m a candidate for at least three circles, you say? No … )

Yours in boiling blood and fire,
Beth

danteinfernoninecircles

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