A Day In The Life


The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil
November 28, 2007, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Odds and Ends, School Buzz

The high school drama teacher, JK,  and I are taking a group of our students to see the stage version of High School Musical in Little Rock on December 9.  We found out about the show in October and I called the ticket handling company to make arrangements.  I talked to a very nice lady who told me we qualified for the group rate of $46.00 per ticket for the Sunday afternoon matinee show.  JK and I collected money from our students and around the first of November I called the ticket lady back to confirm that we needed 21 tickets.  I was super surprised and excited to find out that our seats were in the central orchestra section, eight rows from the stage.  These seats would be $20 higher without the group discount.  On November 13, I had to call the ticket lady once again because our bus driver decided to attend the show and I needed another ticket.  There were no more seats available in the central two rows where JK, myself and our students would be sitting, but the ticket lady got the bus driver seated fairly close to the rest of us in a section to our left.  I mailed the ticket lady a check for $1,012.00 for our 22 tickets on November 13. 

Yesterday I received an email from the ticket lady in which she stated that the $46.00 ticket price was actually for evening performances NOT matinee performances.  She also said that we were seated in the VIP section and if we wanted to keep those nice seats eight rows from the stage, we would have to pay an additional $5.00 per ticket.  I couldn’t believe what I was reading!  I had talked to this lady not once, but three times about our tickets.  In each conversation we had discussed the date and time of the show and the price of the tickets.  Not to mention, I had received an invoice which plainly stated we owed the ticket company $1,012.oo for 22 tickets at $46.00 each for the Sunday, December 9, afternoon matinee performance.  It just wasn’t fair to charge us more or move us from our VIP section seats.  I stomped around my room and ranted and raved for awhile then set about replying to her email. 

I began my reply by saying I was very sorry the ticket prices had been misquoted.  I recounted each conversation I had had with the ticket lady over the phone ( good thing I took notes for each phone call) .  I mentioned the invoice I had received.  I summarized by saying that my students and chaperones were expecting seats in the central orchestra section and I respectfully submitted that we be allowed to keep these seats without paying any additional dollars because we had paid the quoted price for said seats.

I was pleased to receive another email from the ticket lady late yesterday afternoon.  She agreed that the price had been misquoted (by her) and that we should have the seats we had reserved for the original price we were quoted.  She said she would make up the difference in cost since she had made the mistake. 

So everything is hunky dory, right?  Then why do I have this little niggling feeling of guilt that the ticket lady is having to fork over $110.00 out of her own pocket to make up for her own mistake? 



Correspondence
November 27, 2007, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Odds and Ends

Dear Person,

I’m really sorry about the blank stare you received from me this morning when you stopped me in the hall to ask about “that choir program that you’re doing.”  I could tell by the look on your face that you thought I was being rude.  Yes, I know that I am the choir director, but you didn’t give me a chance to explain that I direct seven choirs.  Nor did you allow me to mention that I have eleven choral programs scheduled over the next three weeks.  So, you see, I had no idea what “choir program” you were referring to when you stopped me in the hall.  Forgive me for being picky, but the next time you have a quick question about a choral performance during the holiday season, you might provide a few more details so that I might actually be able to answer your question in a timely fashion.  Then you wouldn’t have to roll your eyes and stalk off as though I had insulted your mother when all that I really said was, “What choir program?” 

Sincerely,
The Choir Director

Dear Person,

Did you really tell your child to ask me “what kind of idiot doesn’t have a cell phone?”  Surely your child was just making that question up.   But, just in case you really want to know……I don’t have a cell phone for many reasons none of which are any of your business. 

Sincerely,
The Idiot

Dear Person,

I appreciate you calling to ask if I could “bring all my choirs to sing” for your holiday event.  Please forgive me for giggling in your ear.  As I explained, I have 231 children, give or take a few, in “all my choirs.”  I’m sorry that the number of children I have involved in choir rendered you speechless for a full 30 seconds.  I can only guess that you were trying to imagine stuffing 231 singers in your meeting room.  I am quite proud of the way you regrouped and decided that perhaps I should only bring one of my choirs to sing for your event.  We are looking forward to singing for you!

Sincerely,
The Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe



The View
November 26, 2007, 10:23 pm
Filed under: My Life, Travel

Random scenes from my life….places I’ve lived….places I’ve visited…..things I’ve seen……..

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The Cotton Bowl from the parking lot, Dallas, Texas, July 2000

 

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Giraffes from the sidewalk, Little Rock Zoo, Little Rock, Arkansas, June 2000

 

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The Grand Tetons from the side of the highway, near Yellowstone, Wyoming, June 1998

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From the 86th floor observation deck, Empire State Building, New York City, November 1972

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From the sidewalk, Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois, July 1974



Thoughts on Loss
November 25, 2007, 8:56 pm
Filed under: Family

I’m no stranger to loss. I had the joy of growing up with all four of my grandparents and the sorrow of losing them one by one over the years. My dad passed away in April of 2001. Aunts and uncles have died during my life time and many people from my church and community have left this earthly life. I’ve always had pets as a part of my family and losing faithful animal companions is difficult, too.

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Beautiful Cherokee died on March 11, 2007.  She was a loving and loyal companion with a precious doggie smile that never failed to brighten my darkest mood.   I rescued her from abuse and she seemed to spend the final eleven years of her life being grateful.  She was gentle and good natured, but if Cherokee thought another dog or human was trying to hurt Jasper or me, she became fierce and quite fearless. 

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The regal lady Africa died on November 3, 2007.  She was also a loving and gentle companion who loved to curl up in my lap and purr.  In her younger days, she was an excellent mouser.  I rescued her from abandonment and she spent twelve of her thirteen years gracing my life with her presence. 

The weekend before Thanksgiving brought the death of one my students.  She was a sweet and shy little girl.  Her family had only moved here last year so I didn’t know her real well, but that didn’t make the loss any easier.  She was only twelve years old.

I spent Thanksgiving with my family.  I joined in the laughter, the snippets of conversation, gazed on the faces of those I love, enjoyed the good food that we ate together.  I held babies, gave and received hugs and tried to absorb every moment spent with the thirty plus family members who gathered at Mom’s house for the holiday.  I normally leave Jasper at home because large crowds make him nervous, but he stayed with me this Thanksgiving.  He is a part of my family and he actually seemed to enjoy the crowd and the attention. 

The loss of those we love, those we know, those we teach is so difficult.  No matter how many times we experience loss, it still cuts us to the core.  It bares our souls to sorrow.  But I will not let loss and sorrow consume me.  I will move forward carefully holding the memories that rest in my heart like twinkling stars in the wide night sky.  All life must come to an end and, trite though it may sound, those of us who remain must live as if there is no tomorrow. 



Hit the Road, Jack
November 20, 2007, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Jasper, Life in the South

I live on a dirt road. Not gravel, not crushed rock. Dirt.  Luckily, I have a long drive way.  My house sits off the beaten path completely surrounded by woods.  I say ‘luckily’ because the road I live on is what is known in these parts as a ‘beer joint road’.  It is a back way connection from the highway in a dry county in Arkansas to the beer joints just across the line in Oklahoma.  Now we don’t need traffic lights out here in the sticks yet, but we do get a little busy on the weekends.  People who live in the edge of Oklahoma also use the road as a short cut to get to the nearest town of any size.  And there are drivers who find my road convenient because they don’t have insurance or because their vehicles are in such a state of disrepair that they try to avoid state highways.  Then there are people, like me, who live out here in the country and use the road because it is the only way to get from here to there, wherever there may be. 

Jasper and I walk the road almost every day.  Usually late in the afternoon or early evening.  I put his harness on his little 10-pound body, snap on the leash and off we go.  Jasper likes to step lively and on some days I am practically jogging to keep up with his pace. 

As we walk, we meet the people who, for whatever reasons, are driving on our road.  Now I know just about everyone who lives on this road and if a neighbor drives by us they usually stop and speak.  At the very least, the people who know Jasper and me, slow down as they wave and pass us by.  I consider the fact that they slow a down an act of courtesy rather than neighborliness.  When conditions are dry, as they are now, the dust from a passing vehicle is awful.  So slowing down to keep the dust from enveloping us is a very nice thing to do.  

What never ceases to surprise me are the people I don’t know who either slow down and speak from a rolled down window as they drive by or stop altogether and talk for a bit.  Most of these people are men.  And most of these men are….well, scruffy looking to say the least.  Maybe they are loggers or laborers of some other type.  I really don’t know.  I can tell you that they aren’t being friendly because I’m a woman walking alone on a road in the middle of nowhere.  I know this because invariably these men talk about Jasper.  They tell me he is a good looking little hound.  They ask how old he is and how much he weighs.  One bearded man with very few teeth, grinned and said Jasper sure was “a cute little feller.” 

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I have to agree.  Jasper is a mighty “cute little feller” even though I can’t get him to sit still for a picture!



A Gift For All Seasons
November 15, 2007, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Nature, Odds and Ends, Seasons

Swampy is hosting a house warming party for Julie and Tiggerlane today.  I decided to ‘give’ them a gift they could use both inside and out throughout the entire year. 

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Spring

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Summer

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Autumn

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Winter

Head on over to Swampy’s place to join the party!



The Squint
November 14, 2007, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Matthew McConaughey, Odds and Ends

I threw a mild temper tantrum today when I found out Matt Damon had been named The 2007 Sexiest Man Alive.  After pulling out large wads of my hair while rolling around on the floor screaming and gnashing my teeth….what? Oh, maybe my temper tantrum wasn’t so mild.  😉  

Anyway, after all that behavior, I emailed Tiggerlane with every intention of being mature about the whole Sexiest Man Alive issue.  I planned to congratulate her because you know she has this ‘thing’ about Matt Damon.  I was gonna say something like, “Congratulations, ‘your man’ won,” and be done with it.  Instead, I found myself spewing forth vindictive phrases like, “He’s squinting with one eye while the other appears to be propped open with a toothpick.”  Oh, the embarrassment.  How could I say something so awful about the man my friend drools over?  I am ashamed.  And here is my public apology to Tigger:  Gee, girlfriend, I’m really sorry. 

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BUT, your man just doesn’t have that sexy squint down yet. He’s trying. Oh, yeah, he’s really working it with the wrinkled forehead and tensed facial muscles, but let’s take a look at the Maestro of Squint.

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I know, I know, Tigger, you don’t like the tough, he-man, sweaty, cowboy look, but you gotta admit that Clint is the maestro when it comes to The Squint.  And the guns sort of help the whole squint scenario, don’t ya think?

And check out this squint.

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He may be an older man now, but Robert Redford is one handsome fellow no matter his age. And what a squint. He just has it all goin’ on.

Which brings us to Brad. 

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I couldn’t get his Sexiest Man picture with the great squint to download, but this shot gets the point across.   It isn’t an A+  squint, but it’s still mighty fine to gaze at. 

And finally…..hubba, hubba…….

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My favorite squint of all.  I just want to take him home and feed him some barbeque.  Then I could gently wipe that little smear of sauce off his mouth…..I guess I better not go there. 

So, here’s squinting at you, Tigger and, oh, congratulations!