Sunday, November 9, 2014

#402 Create A Soundtrack For Your Life

(Wrote a lot of this about two years ago but have since updated some of it. Never published it here.)

Music is what feelings sound like

Music is the most appreciated, most international, most transcending art medium there is. Everyone listens to music. And, it would not be incorrect to say that music has the power to provoke us, sometimes on a very deep level. Even the deaf can feel the reverberation of music. That is how powerful an art form music is.

Some songs make a bigger impression on us than others. Some songs remind you of another place and another time. Some remind you to take life by the horns. Some songs feel like they were written specifically for you. It's like the artists were secretly following you around, documenting something you had gone through or experienced. These are the songs that really make you stop and say "Whoa!" These are the most powerful songs of all.

You can be driving down the road, listening to the radio, when all of a sudden this song starts humming through the speakers. You are no longer driving your car. You are no longer in the driver's seat. You are somewhere else completely.

The past?
The present?
The future?

You are no longer your present age. You are 8, 17, 29, 37, 45, 52, or 64 years old again. Maybe you are the person you picture yourself becoming in the future. It just happens. And whether it inspires you, motivates you, heals you, or makes you cry, this song is now part of your life. This song has taken it's place in the soundtrack of your life.

Think about it for a moment. We all have a soundtrack to our lives. We are walking jukeboxes filled with records and CDs and Mp3 files continually playing the rhythmic timeline of our existence.

I wanted to try and map out my rhythmic timeline. So, I decided to create my own Soundtrack. It was my own personal playlist of melodic memories, hopes and dreams. I went a step further though. I tried document what these songs provoked in me, so when senility finally settles in, I will still be able to find parts of myself through my music. LOL! Trust me when I say my playlist spans every human emotion possible.

Here is mine. What is yours?

Soundtrack of my life

Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
This came out when I was a freshman at Penn State. First time I heard it I was driving to class and was like "Who the f@ck are these guys???" I played the hell out of it at max volume. Still do. This song sometimes takes me back to Penn State and playing hacky sack outside the bookstore, doing my homework on the benches in between classes and all the cool college guys I had the pleasure of meeting. My ex-husband also taught me how to play the guitar riffs for this song.
 "And I forget just why I taste, oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile. I found it hard, it's hard to find, oh well, whatever, nevermind."

Stagefright (Def Leppard)
Slip Of The Tongue (Whitesnake) 
Pour Some Sugar On Me ( Def Leppard)
Still Of The Night (Whitesnake)
In high school, cruisin' Broad was what we did. My friends and I "cruised" almost every night of the week but on Friday and Saturday nights downtown Hazleton was virtual gridlock. Vesuvio's was the place to eat after football and basketball games. Convenient was the ice tea and cigarette pit stop. The shopping center is where we would hang to socialize while the guys with the hot muscle cars would line up until the cops would come by to kick everyone out. Sometimes we would park and hang on the corner of Laurel Street yelling to our friends as they drove down Broad. We were chased by cars full of guys and we chased cars full of guys. If I was driving that night, Shannon would take over the wheel at midnight since I had a Cinderella license. We both had late curfews. These songs were always blasting on one of our cars' cassette deck along with a few others. It was our cruisin' soundtrack. To say I really miss those days would be a complete understatement.

Up All Night (Slaughter) 
This became my theme song in high school because of my insomnia. I never slept  so you could always find me hanging out on Broad, Perkins, Two Guys, and/or Vesuvio's with the other kids that had late curfews. Some of the best times happened after midnight! It is even next to my yearbook photo. (Yea, yea, it was the 80's. Whatever. Still love this one.)

Would (Alice in Chains) 
I Alone (Live)
All Over You (Live)
These songs reminds me of someone from my past whom I had a strong emotional bond with. It was unconditional love on both our parts. It was only time I have ever experienced such a deep mutual love. Life was very complicated for me at the time and we were so young. He wanted my complications, all of them, even went so far as to confess all of this to my mother, sister and grandmother but... I could not do that to him because he had his whole life ahead of him. Sometimes I wonder if this had been my one chance at true love. There is nothing I can do about it now, that was my past. I put that to bed a long time ago. All I can do is hope true love is still out there for me in my future.
"Into the flood again, same old trip it was back then. So I made a big mistake, try to see it once my way."

Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks) 
Okay so... yes I used to go in the basement, put on a flowy white dress and dance around pretending I was Stevie Nicks. Yes my sister caught me doing it and still busts my ass to this day about it. Yes I know why she wrote every single word to this song. Yes I try to sing it every time I go to karaoke. Yes I think the guitar riff is incredible. Yes she is still a goddess to me and when people tell me I look like her I blush and get all excited and happy to hear such a wonderful compliment. She and I are kindred spirits. Whatever.
"And I see you doing, what I try to do for me. With the words of a poet and a voice of a choir and a melody, and nothing else mattered." She wrote this about John Lennon.

10,000 Horses (Candlebox) 
I hold this one close to me. It is about fighting for your life. It's about changing, even if it is painful. It's about moving on. Rolling with the punches. It's about choices. It's about listening to your heart. It's about not allowing anyone's words or opinions to affect your decisions. It's about not permitting anything or anyone from dragging you down the rabbit hole with them. It's about being strong. One of my biggest fears is that I will live a stale life or a life filled with would'ves, could'ves, should'ves but didn't. I witnessed too many unhappy people in my lifetime. I will not allow myself to become one of them nor will I allow my children to.
"Never want to slow down, I keep rolling on. Never want to slow down, it's what I feel and what I know. It feels like a strain, that everybody's giving to me. Won't let my hands get tied. I'm going to ride it all out. Never going to slow down this time."

Chain Reaction (Journey)
When I was a kid, I would often times spend summer days with my older cousins and my Aunt Ann. My cousin Nikki and I would ride bikes around her neighborhood. Her older sisters would let me ride one of their ten speeds because I did not have one. I never told them how many times I wrecked that thing. Eventually I got my own cool shiny red ten speed to ride but in the meantime I had theirs. Nikki and I would sometimes follow her older sisters up to the train tracks where the big kids hung. Journey was huge then. This song as well as many other Journey songs were always playing on one of the guys' portable stereos. Eventually her older sisters and the big kids would get annoyed with us so Nikki and I would go off wandering down the tracks, exploring the woods and getting into our own mischief. We didn't find any bodies along the tracks like the boys in the movie "Stand By Me" but we had so much fun on our adventures.

Name (The Goo Goo Dolls) 
This one of my all time favorite songs. Loved it the minute I heard it. I could relate to so much of what he was saying. Growing up too fast, trying to hide who you really are, the emotional scars you earned along the way, lost hopes and dreams. Losing yourself completely and becoming a shell. Not knowing how to break the shell. Sometimes even if you are with someone you feel like you are the loneliest person in the world. If you are single, sometimes you feel you are slowly losing hope in finding the right one. The one that gets it. Gets you. I do not believe in fairy tales but I do believe this song is as close to Prince Charming as it gets. He really gets the girl. Gets why she is the way she is. He understands. He still wants to be with her. He sings this beautiful song to her. One day my prince will come..... right?
"Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far....."

One Night in Bangkok (Murray Head) 
This song reminds me of summers spent at the James Street playground in fifth and sixth grade. My friend JR would always make me sing this song as we swung on the swings. I don't know why he asked me to sing it but I would sing it. It was just one of those random things I guess.

Love My Way ( The Psychedelic Furs) 
Valley Girl and the John Hughes movies were my youth. The Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science.... I loved them all. My friends and I would talk about them all the time. Hughes really understood the life and times of being a teen in the 80's and early 90's. All the songs from 80's teen movies remind me of my teenage years.

Don't Dream It's Over (Crowded House) 
This song reminds me of my freshman year and some of my closest friends. The year was 1988. It was our last year of junior high before we went to the big high school where inevitably, some of us would drift apart. I remember walking to The Third Base with some of those friends and just taking all of this in. This song was playing on the jukebox while we ate lunch. It was so fitting. When I close my eyes, I drift right back....
"There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost but you'll never see the end of the road while your traveling with me." 

Hot! Hot! Hot! (The Cure) 
My fascination with The Cure began with this song. Reminds me of all the cool skater boys in the hood growing up.

Union of The Snake (Duran Duran) 
My cousin Sue and I were huge Duran Duran groupies in elementary school. We used to blast their songs in her room every time I visited. She was in love with Nick Rhodes. I had the hots for John Taylor. My aunt used to get her all the Teen Beat magazines and we would gawk over them. Good times on Arthur Street.

Hold On Loosely ( 38 Special) 
My ex husband and I loved a local band called White Bear. Our friends used to sneak us into the bars just to hear them play since we were only 18 and 19. They always opened with this one, which happens to be a favorite of mine. The lead singer sang it perfect! Miss that band. Miss the challenge of sneaking into bars.

Foreplay/Long Time (Boston) 
Boston is one of my favorite bands. Someone from my past, whom was seven years older than me and whom I had a flaming crush on, gave me two of his Boston cassettes to listen to because he loved them. And while the flames for him have long been extinguished, my flame for Boston still burns bright to this day. I blast this on max, roll the windows down and drive it like I stole it! It always lifts my spirits. A great Sunday drive or road trip song.
"Good times and faces that remind me. I'm trying to forget your name and leave it all behind me. You're coming back to find me." 

Love Is Like A Rock (Donnie Iris) 
Fantasy (Aldo Nova)
Saturday afternoons when I was in elementary school Skate Oddessy was the place to be. The DJ always played these two songs. And whether we were trying to skate faster to be near the cute boy or skate slower to avoid the stalker boy, all I know is I could never quite get the hang of skating backwards but I could spin. Oh, and it was a complete blast. I had Strawberry Shortcake roller skates. Wore the hell out of them.

The Only Time (Nine Inch Nails) 
This song and the whole Pretty Hate Machine album reminds me of the dump my ex husband and I lived in before our daughter was born. The sink drained into the basement. The tub leaked. The upstairs apartment's toilet leaked into our bedroom. The windows didn't have screens. The oven didn't work. One neighbor was a dealer, one was always asking to borrow something from us and one had a confederate flag as their front window curtain. The neighbors above us with the five kids in the two bedroom apartment were constantly making the mattress creek causing us to laugh hysterically. Go ahead and keep breeding more kids you can't afford. I remember the first time I heard this song I was like "Wow!" I like these guys. I played the hell out the album at night because my ex worked third shift and I hated being alone at night. Trent and his deep, dark lyrics got me through those nights. Sometimes he still does to this day.
"Lay my hands on heaven and the sun and the moon and the stars while the devil wants to fuck me in the back of his car. Nothing quite like the feel of something new." 

Kayleigh/Lavender (Marillion)
I first heard this song not too long after my daughter was born. It hit me like a ton of bricks because I was going through such an emotional time. I was second guessing a decision I had made and was feeling a lot of heartbreak about what was and what could have been. The torment lasted for years for both of us. It was then that I realized just how hard grown up life could be. Good thing is my heart doesn't break anymore when I hear this song. Now I can listen to it and love it for how beautiful it is.
"By the way, didn't I break your heart? Please excuse me, I never meant to break your heart. So sorry, I never meant to break your heart but you broke mine." 
"Lavender green, Lavender blue. When you love me, I will love you."

Still Frame (Trapt) 
This song is my anthem for trying to figure my shit out and get it together. Even I don't always have the answers.
" A small confession, I think I'm starting to lose it. I think I'm drifting away from the people I really need." 

Down With The Sickness (Disturbed)
Freak On a Leash (Korn)
Oh! (Union Turnpike)
Points of Authority/99 Problems/One Step Closer (Jay-Z/LinkinPark/Eminem/Jonathan Davis DJ Bruno version) (One of the best remixes ever!!!)
Songs that get my blood pumping and motivate me to tear it up.
"It's time to sink or swim, to see who gets scared when the lights go dim."
"And there I go trapped in the kit kat, back through the system with the riff raff again."

Ready To Go (Republica) 
This song reminds me of all the fun, goofy shit my sister and I do.

MacArthur Park Suite (Donna Summer) 
I scratched the hell out of my mother's albums. So did my sister. I loved Donna Summer, she loved Olivia Newton John. I used to sing this one while digging holes in the yard to make mud pools for my Barbie or obstacle courses for my matchboxes. I had a pink VW matchbox that the boy up the street always tried to steal. I couldn't understand why anyone would put a cake out in the rain but thought it was probably gross and mushy. It's actually a beautiful love song but what did I know. I was six. I played with dirt.
"Spring was never waiting for us dear, it ran one step ahead as we followed in the dance."

The DJ (KRS One and DJ Revolution) 
This song takes me back to Ms. Mowery and my spontaneous road trip to New Orleans in 2010. As we were coming up on the city it was nearing midnight and this song was playing as we were crossing the twin span bridges. We were literally awestruck when we finally saw the city lights. This trip will always be one of my all time favorites.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (The Beatles)
Strawberry Fields Forever ( The Beatles)
I used to play in the attic because my sister would not follow me there. Funny how she would go in the basement but not the attic. Not at first anyway. It didn't last very long. Anyway, my dad stored all of his albums in a crate in the attic. I thieved them, brought them down to my room and believed I was quietly playing The Beatles, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. I was not playing them as tacitly as I thought. He knew. I didn't get in trouble though. He loved that I was listening to his records. He even discovered a few Beatles albums at flea markets for me. I still have all his albums as well as the ones he got for me in a crate in my attic. These songs are what entranced and enamored me to the entity known as the Fab Four. I began to accept the quirky child I was. I unearthed and nurtured my imagination listening to the Beatles. The music spoke volumes to me. They are my #1 band. I tend to listen to them more when I am down and need a break from reality without the use of LSD. LOL!  Some of my friends can tell if I am having a moment when I start posting Beatles songs to Facebook. That is when you realize someone truly knows you. When they can recognize your little quirks and how to interpret them, it shows they really are paying attention. They really care.
"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn't matter much to me....Let me take you down cuz I'm going to Strawberry Fields." 

What You Waiting For? (Gwen Stefani) 
This song is my anthem to get my ass out there and just do it. It reminds me that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. I will never be too old to accomplish another goal or try something new.

Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac)
Sara (Fleetwood Mac)
I had taken a shining to Fleetwood Mac at a very young age. I recall  HBO playing a Fleetwood Mac concert all month. I can't remember how old I was but we had cassettes by then. I remember watching it every time it was on. My father found a way to hook up a cassette player to our floor model TV with a wire and taped the entire concert onto a cassette for me to listen to. It was one of the best, most thoughtful presents I had ever received. I played it so much I eventually wore it out and the tape broke. This was before dual cassette players came out so I could not make a copy. Anyway, my father always did sweet little things like that for all of us. He was the one that taught me about the little things in life and how they are actually the big things in life. On a side note, I took my Confirmation name Sara because of this song.
"And he was just like a great dark wing, within the wings of the storm. Well I think I have met my match. He was singing, and undoing, and undoing.... the laces, undoing the laces."

No Jesus Christ (Seether)
Trouble (Coldplay)
Too Bad ( Nickelback)
These songs reminds me of my separation, eventual divorce and the emotional roller coaster both my ex and I put each other on for almost a year. Sometimes things are worth a second chance if the feelings are still there. Sometimes the feelings fade faster than you actually want to believe. Sometimes having one more day makes you realize you cannot forget what was done to you, what you have done, how much you have grown apart and that it really is time to let go for the mental and emotional health of everyone involved. I learned that you can miss many things about a person and they can miss many things about you but it doesn't necessarily mean you are a supposed to endure as a couple, even after many years together.

Sometimes we mistake comfort and security for love even though deep down we are unhappy and restless. Sometimes we mistake control, possessiveness and jealousy for love when in fact it is nothing more than the insecurities of the parties involved and really doesn't have much to do with love at all. I learned it can be more about fear than anything. Fear of being alone, losing the future you planned. Fear of being viewed as a failure, selfish or a bad parent. Fear of losing the money and lifestyle you once had.

I learned that the only thing I lost was the negative environment we had unintentionally created by lying to ourselves about the people we had grown into. We were just kids ourselves when we started a family. We knew everything but we knew nothing. I thought the time apart would make us stronger. So did he. We were both wrong. We had grown into different people. I no longer wanted to make it work. He didn't either. Every situation is different I guess. This was ours.
"You keep taking over. I keep rolling over. I can't take it anymore."

The Boys of Summer (Don Henley)
I Ran (Flock of Seagulls)
Little Red Corvette (Prince)
Strip (Adam Ant)
Relax (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
Our House (Madness)
These songs remind me of growing up in the 80's. Spaced Invaders on the Atari, friendship pins traded and worn on the laces of our shoes, playing cops and robbers in the neighborhood, big neon shirts, learning how to put on make up, smoking in my friend's attic, roller skates, ten speeds, MTV actually playing videos, my friends and I pretending we were the 1984 Gold Medal Woman's gymnastics team, my junior high boyfriend and the 8 million times we would break up and get back together, walking around the football stadium on Friday nights, the 1986 World Champion NY Mets, basketball games, my paper route, exploring the woods, summers spent swimming at Angela Park, slumber parties, my dogs Hazel and Felicia, school dances, big gawdy jewelry and punked out hair. These were some of my favorite songs.

I Hate Everything About You (Three Days Grace) 
I Don't Care (Apocalyptica)
Pressure (Rains)
These songs remind me of relationships ending and how you can still love someone but hate them at the same time. The five stages of grief I guess.

What's My Name? (Rhianna) 
This song reminds me of springtime and falling in love. Both bloom new life from former life. I remember walking into a mini mart near my house back in the spring of 2011. I was newly in love back then. A woman was singing this along to the radio. She was so happy and spirited. She smiled and winked at me as she left. It is such a pretty, playful song. It always lifts my spirits when I hear it even thought the relationship ended.

Try Yazz (Two Without Hats)
Together Forever (Lisette Melendez) 
Let The Beat Hit Em ( Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam)
French Kiss (Lil Louis)
Freestyle was huge when I was in high school. These are songs that remind me of our jaunts to the big WB aka Wilkes Barre to the cool dance clubs. Of course no matter how hard my friends tried to sneak me into the 18 and older clubs, no matter how many fake IDs we had, no matter how much we chatted up the doorman, they would not let me in. Fuckers! There were 16 and older clubs too though so we would just go there. Unless of course while dancing under the ultra violet lights my skirt road up to my waist and exposed my undies to everyone in the club. Yea...that sucked. Now a days I probably just say fuck it and pull my skirt down but back then I was horrified.

Everlong (Foo Fighters)
A gorgeous song about a waiting for the one the doesn't stop when you say when. In other words, finding someone that can handle you at your best and your worst forever. Someone who doesn't quit when things get hard. No matter how good a relationship you are in, there are going to be hard times. If it is worth fighting for and working it out, both of you will work at it. If one wants to and the other doesn't, then that is not the person who isn't gonna stop when you say when and no matter how hard, you need to let them go so you can both find that person that won't quit. One of my favorite local bands Torn used to play this one at the Roadhouse. This one reminds me of Network Solutions too. Not sure why but it does. Maybe because we used to play this one a lot on the juke after work. I love both the rock and acoustic versions of this song. It is one of my favorite songs.

My My ( Seven Mary Three)
Lakini's Juice ( Live)
Tourniquet (Marilyn Manson)
Stinkfist (Tool)
Machinehead (Bush)
The 90's alternative scene was mind blowing. Some of the music was deep, dark and sad. Some was fun, uplifting and vivacious. Most songs were thought provoking which is always right up my alley. My children were born on to this scene just like I was born on to the progressive rock scene. These songs remind me of waitressing, driving my son to therapy, late night shopping trips with my sister and becoming familiar with the world wide web. We were on the web before it became mainstream. I remember Bulletin Boards (BBS), AOL, the Imagination Network. I even had a short lived job writing for a national online city guide before it became a victim of the .com mess of the nineties. It disheartened me to have a job I loved only to lose it. I have never been able to completely get back on the horse again but I am working on it. These favorite songs of mine as well as many others played in the background that was my life in the 90's.
"I can help you change tired moments into pleasure. Say the word and we'll be well upon our way. Blend and balance, pain and comfort deep withing you til you would not want me any other way."

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy ( Rod Stewart) 
My family knows I am nuts but they fully supported it. I was five when this came out. I would play this song over and over and over and over and over on the record player in the living room. Finally my parents got me a little Donnie and Marie record player for my room because they probably hated it thanks to me. So anyway.... I played this a lot, and I took the words literally. I had absolutely no idea what this song was really about. I thought it was about people getting coffee and bad weather and people wanting to touch other people, like as in touching their shoulder. The mind of a child right? We were all there once. I loved the groove though. Hell yeah!

Not Strong Enough (Apocalyptica) 
This song reminds me of how sometimes love and attraction is so powerful that we do crazy things like wear our hearts bleeding on our sleeves hoping that eventually something we do will convince the object of our affection that we are the one they really want. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Regardless it is a beautiful song.
"And it's killing me when your away. I wanna leave and I wanna stay. And I'm so confused, so hard to chose between the pleasure and the pain. I know it's wrong and I know it's right. Even if I try to win the fight, my heart would overrule my mind....and I'm not strong enough to stay away."

One Trick Pony ( Deadmau5) 
This song will forever remind me of my love affair with the Concept 2 rower at Gerrie's Fitness Center. I would put the rower on the hardest resistance # 10,  pump up the volume on my mp3 player to max and work it to this song. It's very empowering.

Dance Dance (Fall Out Boy)
Bad Religion (Godsmack)
Somebody Told Me (The Killers)
These songs remind me of the Roadhouse. When I first started going out, this bar was my haven. I felt completely comfortable there. Every Friday for over two years I was a fixture there from 5:30 PM until closing. I forged great friendships, got drunk off my ass, laughed until someone puked, listened to some amazing bands, met a few boys, did some pretty crazy things, hell I even worked there for 6 months. I came out of my shell completely while working at Network Solutions and going to Evan's Roadhouse. You could tell when I reached my drinking limit because I would drop my cup on the floor and ice would go flying everywhere. I never did it on purpose but it happened almost every Friday. Some of my best and most favorite memories and adventures happened there. My friends and I would play these songs on the jukebox all the time.
"Drink up, it's last call, last resort, I'm only your first mistake tonite!"

Pardon Me (Incubus) 
I listen to this one when I am made to be the asshole by an asshole. Whether it is speaking my mind, expressing my feelings or saying enough is enough this song empowers me. Too old for games and mind fucks by anyone.
"Pardon me while I burst into flames. I've had enough of the world and it's people's mindless games. So pardon me while burn and rise above the flame."

25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago) 
My dad is a huge Chicago fan. He had every album tucked away in the attic. So... of course, my sister and I followed suit. His band played this one a lot because they had a great horn section. This is one of our favorites. Reminds me of his band when I was a kid. Love when the high school and college bands play this one too.

Crush (Dave Matthews) 
My intrigue with Dave Matthews began with this stunning song back in 1999. I have been a fan ever since. This one is a gorgeous, vulnerable song about a man telling a woman just how much he loves her. Any woman would love a man to really love her as Dave poetically describes. Dave does have a way with words I must say. Love like this does exist but now a days it is rare.
"Am I right side up or upside down, to each other we'll be facing. By love, we'll beat back the pain we found. You know I mean to tell you all the things I've been thinking deep inside my friend. With each moment the more I love you."

Riptide (Sick Puppies) 
I can be a little off the cuff, a little out there. Sometimes I think and act way outside the box. I'm quirky. I have been judged, accused, taken the wrong way. I used to care. I don't anymore. It's my life.

Flagpole Sitta (Harvey Danger) 
This song reminds me of my sister when we would drink because something just isn't right with either of us and it gets even more goofy when we are drinking. This song is so us. We would sing this one a lot. It also reminds me of working at the Ground Round. We were all nuts. It was the first waitressing job I had where I actually looked forward to going to work. Yes...we had that much fun. I remember singing the amputee part of this song to my friend Vern while tapping a plate off the garbage can to remove the food. I broke the plate as I said goddamn you. I didn't mean to, it just happened. His expression was priceless. Oopsies! I sang this part to Alish all the time. Ironic now that I'm looking back on it since I pierced my tongue 13 years later.
"I wanna publish zines and rage against machines. I wanna pierce my tongue. It doesn't hurt it feels fine. The trivial sublime, I'd like to turn off time and kill my mind." 

Hush (Deep Purple)
Denial (Sevendust)
Saturday Night Is Alright For Fighting ( Nickelback and Kid Rock)
Here To Stay (Korn)
Some of my favorite driving songs. Yes, sometimes I forget I drive a Blazer and not a Mustang. Yes, sometimes I tend to press my foot to the gas pedal with a little more force when one of these songs are playing. I can't help it. Yes, I had my license taken away once for speeding and once I had to take a test to keep my license as a result from another speeding incident. I speed within reason now. Ruckle and a few of my other friends at Network Solutions used to bust my ass about how I arrived for work every morning. As Ruckle describes it, "You knew Fess was at work when you heard the wheels squeal as she turned into the lot. You would hear the music about a minute before she made it to the back lot. You didn't even have time to say hello because she would jump out of her Blazer and take off like a flame haired rocket into the building while she bitched about being late." He told this "story" a lot at work. Of course I denied it.

No Leaf Clover (Metallica) 
I think I am one of the few people that actually loved when Metallica did the S&M CD with the San Francisco Philharmonic. I fell in love with this song instantly. Through the years I have played the hell out of it. I write to it. I used to play this CD to help me fall asleep back in the 90's. It also reminds me of playing Rockband with my friends. This was always a favorite.

Say You'll Haunt Me (Stone Sour) 
Love Walks In (Van Halen)
These songs reminds me of how sometimes emotions happen so unexpectedly that it catches you off guard completely. It's funny how you can see someone one day, not really take notice of them other than that they are attractive, go about your business as usual, then a few weeks later find yourself having a conversation with them and completely connecting. Sometimes it hits you so fast you haven't any time to react or fight it. Life is funny like that sometimes.
"Little supernovas in my head, little soft pulses in my dead. Little souvenirs and secrets shared, a little off guard and unprepared."  

It Takes Two (Rob Base) 
I was a sophomore in high school when this song came out and let me just say I went nuts. I immediately wanted to dance and party whenever I heard this. I remember rapping this and Joy an Pain to my bandfront gals on the bus to Toronto in 1989.  Rap had become huge in the 80's. I do like some of it. But...those god awful MC Hammer pants can definitely stay in the 80's.

Ordinary World (Duran Duran)
Take Care (Drake and Rhianna)
Bent (Matchbox Twenty)
Birthday (Taproot)
Hemorrhage In My Hands (Fuel)
Snuff (Slipknot)
Over And Over (Three Days Grace)
The Space Between (Dave Matthews Band)
Songs that help cope with finding love, fighting for love, losing love, getting over love and finding love again. Most of us are wounded soldiers on the battlefield of love. These songs represent that battlefield, those scars, our unique personalities, our pride and esteem, how we love, how we feel, the endless search for someone who can handle it all but more importantly, make it better. We are all dysfunctional in our own way. It's a matter of who can handle you and love you just as you are and vice versa. These are some of my favorite songs. They are all beautifully written and composed.

Jackson, Mississppi (Kid Rock) 
I first heard this song on the way to a Kid Rock concert with my friend Stacy. It took me a little off guard. The music itself is rockin' but the words are what struck the chord in me. There is no doubt this song is about addiction. I myself was finally coming to terms with the fact that I have an addictive personality and that alcohol will never take my problems away.

#41 (Dave Matthews Band) (Listener Supported CD is the best version of this song. ) 
This song reminds me of a few things. I went back to school in 2006. My computer was shot so I would go over my parents to use theirs. I would play this one a lot while studying. My father would be sitting in the kitchen and I would catch him humming or whistling along to it. I thought it was so cute. He became an even bigger Dave fan than me. His first love is jazz and DMB has plenty of jazzy and blues undertones to their music. It also reminds me of finally putting myself out in to the dating world. I was clueless. Not that I am that much better now but back then I was like a baby deer learning to walk. I was more naive than I wanted to believe. I still am but now I have a few lessons under my belt. Sometimes I pull myself back in for a bit to regroup, but eventually I put myself back out into the big old sea with the other fishes. As usual the lyrics to this song are filled with vulnerability and yearning. This song was my cell phone ringtone for almost 3 years.
" Only waiting, I wanted to stay. I wanted to play. I wanted to love you. I'm only this far and only tomorrow leads the way. I'm coming waltzing back and moving into your head." 

Immigrant Song (Led Zepplin) 
I was 15 when I got my first CD player/stereo. My dad got it for me for Christmas. It was our first Christmas after my parents split. My mother had promised to send us gifts but she never did. My father felt so bad about this. He had no reason to. It wasn't his fault; we knew that. But, as a caring parent, it hurts when your children are disappointed. He took me to Stroud's to pick it out a stereo for Christmas. I was conscientious of prices because my father was struggling financially at the time. I chose a nice, lower priced stereo. My dad, however was not having it. He got both my sister and I Technics. These stereos were loaded. They had the CD player, dual cassette decks, digital radio tuning and bass thumping speakers. The music quality of the CDs were mind blowing compared to cassettes. My Uncle Jimmy came over to hook them up on Christmas. He put Zeppelin III in my CD deck and this song started playing at max volume. It sounded incredible. I couldn't think of a better, more rockin' song to be the first song ever played in my new CD player. 

Sail (Awolnation)
Miseria Cantare/ The Leaving Song Part II (AFI)
By and Down ( A Perfect Circle)
Sirens (Pearl Jam)
My most recent ex had Siruis radio and we both loved the Octane channel. These songs remind me of being with him. Our trip to Philly for cheesesteaks and my first wrestling match. Snuggling and watching movies. Talking all through the night. For the first time ever I was completely comfortable with someone. Thought I could be myself for real. Thought I had finally found the one this time. It wasn't meant to be though. This one hurt really bad but despite the pain and anger that will eventually pass, I genuinely do wish for the both of us to find the happiness and calm that both seem to elude us. It just won't be with each other. He is a good person.

Lazy Days/Crazy Nights (Tesla) 
Not too long after I started seeing my ex husband, he moved back home to Pottsville. So...I would go to Penn State, then work, then make the hike to go see him. I would fall asleep at his place sometimes then leave at 3AM to get back home for class the next day. It was on these drives, where hardly anyone was on the road that this song always seemed to come on the tape deck, especially when I was driving the grid. It just seemed fitting at the time.

Sister Christian ( Night Ranger)
For obvious reasons this song will always stick with me. So here it goes, my father liked the nickname Chrissy but felt there were too many Christines in the world back in 1973. He wanted something unique and different so....he named me Christian. Ironic huh? If I had a dollar for every time a teacher, classmate, doctor, employer, new friend, etc. said  "But that's a boy's name." I would be filthy rich. Seriously, I would. I should start charging people. This song fits me for two reasons. First, when my friends and I were younger, we were talking about songs that had our names in the title. It was the summer of '83. I was turning ten years old.  Most of my friends knew of a song about a female with their name in it. I remember saying there will never be a song with my name in it and it be about a girl. Never say never. Trust me, no one was more surprised than me when the following year, in 1984, a song came out called "Sister Christian" and not only was it about a girl, but it was a great song!

The second reason it fits me is because I was always a little tomboy. I had more friends that were boys than girls. I played with them all the time. I was like one of the boys, climbing trees, playing cops and robbers, playing wiffle ball and football, riding bikes, kicking their ass at spaced invaders, getting my ass kicked in snowball fights etc. Every night I came home filthy, muddy and bruised. Then it happened. One of my playmates no longer wanted to play with me. He ignored me and avoided me like the plague. A few months later he sent his friend over to my house to tell me he had a crush on me. It was weird. I didn't see him like that. He was my buddy. This happened with a few of my buddies. And then the teasing began as I started developing. It hurt at first but eventually I started cracking right back to them. I was a sassy little thing. I had to be. Things were never quite the same for me after that. They never are once you really start growing up. All of this happened right around the time this song came out. Crazy huh?

If You Needed Somebody (Bad Company) 
This was the class of 1991's Prom Theme. It was bittersweet because we knew in a few more weeks many of us would be going our separate ways. Some of us would never see each other again. We laughed, we danced, we cried, we had a blast. This song is actually a very sweet love song too.
"Should have told you by now, but I can't find the words. If I could show you somehow, but I don't have the nerve. You don't see me looking at you, how could love be so blind? Somehow you don't notice me, but sooner or later there will come a time. If you needed somebody....." 

Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix) 
I introduced My Aunt Lisa to my ex husband's friend Kenny during a 4th of July party we had. Two years later they were married. In fact I have had many successful introductions to future couples over the years. Several of them have gotten married. I am quite the little matchmaker....for everyone else, just like Amelie From Montmartre. Anyway, my uncle's band played at my Aunt Lisa and Kenny's wedding. He asked my dad to join him for a few songs. It was the only time I ever saw them play together and it was one of the last times I saw my dad play the drums before he retired. This song was one of the songs they played at the wedding. I will never forget it. It was 1994.

What's Luv? (Fat Joe) 
Family trips to Wildwood and Cape May, NJ were always a family tradition. On the drive down, there was always a hot song that the radio would continuously play. This one sticks out in my mind for some reason. Getting there was half the fun. When we crossed the drawbridge and passed the shanties which have all but been wiped out, we knew we were close. Excitement would rush in, even as adults, as we would turn onto 17th to the Sandpiper motel. Some of my greatest memories happened in Southern Jersey, my home away from home.

The Fall (ELO)
I'm Alive (ELO)
My sister and I were Xanadu fanatics. It's a cheesy movie but we still adore it to this day. We had roller skates, dresses like Kira and even wore beads, feathers and headbands. Kira didn't have all the bruises on her knees and legs like my sister and I did but it was one of the few times we were actually girly growing up.  Love the whole Xanadu soundtrack but this movie actually was my first introduction to the Electric Light Orchestra and the wonderful Mr. Gene Kelly. I am a huge fan of both to this day.

Centuries ( Fall Out Boy)
This song played constantly on the radio during Becky's and my Football Weekend in September, 2014. This song will always remind me of my first Pittsburgh Steelers game, seeing the Lombardis, watching #43 come out on to the field last, while all his teammates and the crowd went wild for him, and all the laughs and goods times Ms. Brominski and I shared that weekend. One of the best times of my life. I will never, ever forget it.

Runaway (Kanye West)
Lost In The World (Kanye West)
Chalk Outline (Three Days Grace)
Reminds me of the last go round with one of my exes and the lies and heartbreak he put me through. Told me one of the saddest days of his life was losing me as a best friend. Only guy to ever cry with me over our final split and what went down because of it. Lots of life lessons were learned in this relationship.

Battle Born (Five Finger Death Punch)
Thought he wrote this about me to be honest. The constant battle not to be come a hard person because of the cards life has dealt me. Not knowing which way to turn next because every path leads to more pain and disappointment.

Fancy (Iggy Azalea)
This one reminds me of all the fun and good times surrounding the events of Chris and Jere's wedding. Another one of the best times of my life.

Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)
This song reminds me of several moments of my life and is also an anthem of sorts. It reminds me of Juniior High and H.F.Grebey, cheerleading camp and wrestling matches. It reminds me of one night at The Roadhouse when Becky was trying to leave way too early so my drunk ass went outside, crawled up in the hood of her red jeep, and did my own Tawny Kitaen dance on her hood. I dented the hood, and woke up the next morning with a black and blue middle finger, wondering how the hell I did that. Becky said I was using the hood handle to do some maneuvers and was grabbing it pretty hard. LMFAO!! The times we had with the jeep.

It is also an anthem about starting over again., which I have had to do a few times in my life. When I hear this song playing, I know I am not alone in my hardships because everyone has had to start from scratch at least since in their life. I know what I need to do to regroup. I know i have the strength to overcome just about anything. I know my roots. I know I love the great unknown. And...I know I can survive just about anything life throws my way.
"And here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I've ever known. Like a drifter I was born to walk alone. And I made up my mind, I ain't wasting no more time. Here I Go Again."

Daylight ( Matt and Kim)
This song always brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it. It reminds me of my kids when they were little and how cute and quirky they were even then. I loved watching them play and laugh and experience new things. I made sure to seer those moments into my memory. Even when I am senile, I will never forget those precious moments with my children.

It Was A Very Good Year (Frank Sinatra)
This song reminds me of my brother and sister's graduation party. My cousins Mick and Jocy also graduated the same year as them so our families rented a grove for all the cousins to have a party. My sister was 19 and I was 22. We were riding the swings on the swing sets and my dad came over and was pushing us just like when we were little girls. He started singing this song to us. I was almost in tears. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful father and in his eyes, we will always be his little girls. It was one of those unexpected, precious moments you will never forget.
"When I was 17, it was a very good year. It was a very good year for small town girls and soft summer nights. We'd hide from the lights on the village green, when I was 17."

Lighters (Bruno Mars)
Hey Ho ( The Lumineers)
Whenever Becky and I are having a moment, we usually send the other a text with some of the lyrics to one of these songs and it just makes the day so much better. It's those little things. <3

Shipping Up To Boston ( Dropkick Murphys)
I am sorry but every time this song comes on I, the Irish tap dancer in me comes out and I have to step dance. I have step danced to this so many times at Evan's Roadhouse it is not even funny. I have even done it at work. It can't be helped. LOL!

Rosetta Stoned ( Tool)
Awake ( Godsmack)
Polyamorous ( Breaking Benjamin)
Stricken ( Disturbed)
All these songs remind me of the awesome hard rock band Torn. My friend Stacy and I would go see them every time they played for a span of two years. They were so good and Rock music, especially hard rock, is my first love, so to have an excellent local band play it was heaven. They are no longer together but if there is ever a reunion, I will so much be there, smack in the front, jamming out to Jonathan's guitar riffs like I always used to.


There are so many more songs that will eventually be added to this list as life and music march on. Some will be new songs for new memories and emotions. Some will be old favorites that have long been forgotten until they pop up on the radio, taking me back to another time and place.

I must say, this was actually really fun to do. Take a weekend, maybe during a snowstorm or a heatwave, and map out the musical timeline of your life. Make your own soundtrack. You and you alone, compose the beat to your own life.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Part of the mantra incorporated into my own brand of Free Spirit Living is the weather. Not the weather the great outdoors provides but the weather our hearts, minds and yes, unfortunately sometimes our hormones, can generate. We call them moods. And just like we personify the weather, hence Mother Nature and her mood swings or the act of giving human names to tropical and winter storms, I weatherize my moods.

Yes, it has been psychologically proven that the outdoor elements can definitely affect our moods over a prolonged period of time but, we do have the power to be a bright shining sun on a rainy day or a radiating heat wave on a cold blustery night and....vice versa of course. There have been plenty of sun shiny days where I have felt like an ice storm was running through my veins. Happens to the best of us.

I live in my own little world

I'm not going to get into the whole theory of  "Like Attracts Like" or how we naturally calibrate to the most negative person in the room (Wayne-ism) and must actively fight to keep our positive energy internalized when in the midst of negatively charged personalities, or even how we adopt the characteristics of the five people we spend the most amount of time with. I could write a whole book about that based on my personal experiences.

What I am getting at is something very similar to what I touched on in my "Finding Light In The Darkest of Places" blog, but more basic. This is more along the lines of preventative maintenance. I'm not going to lie, there have been so many times in my life where I have felt like this big practical joke was being played and I was the punchline. I have been hit out of nowhere by cans of "WTF" so many times, it's embarrassing. At 41 years old, I am still very naive and full of hope, but at 41 years old, I have also experienced more hardship and disappointment than most people will in a lifetime. My big ole heart rules my being, not my huge brain. I accept this but.... the two are always at odds. Thankfully, by nature, my weather tends to be more sunny than naught despite the tumultuous, but trust me, when I have my moments, they are like a category 5 hurricane can of crazy.

I am sure I am not the only one to have mornings where you just don't want to get out of bed because the world gave you an Apollo Creed-like beat down the day before. But you MUST find a way to get out of bed everyday because there are people that will never have that opportunity again. I recently found a simple list of some of my favorite things, things that make life worth living, remind me of all the wonderful there really is in this world and that if I do not get out of bed, I may miss out on a great opportunity. I am always going on and on and on about the little things in life but that is because I genuinely know from experience that they are the things that get you through some very dark days.

I asked some peeps to give me lists of their favorite things to help me get through some recent dark days in my life, and in turn, I also wrote down some little things that have helped me recover from the beatings life has laid upon me. Whatever works right? These lists are not meant to be overly profound, they are meant to be simple everyday things we sometimes take for granted. We do what we have to not only to survive, but to flourish and radiate. Never apologize for that. Never let anyone or anything bring you down or make you feel like a punchline. That is a reflection of them, not you.

And without further ado, here are some great lists starting with the author's, who needs it most! <3

Favorite things

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Christian DeCosmo Fessler

2.  Listening to the rainfall at night while lying in bed
3.  Puppies and dogs
4.  Open windows with cool, gentle breezes of fresh spring air
5.  Fresh squeezed Orange Juice
6.  Putting on my headphones and zoning out to my music
7.  NYC Skyline at night
8.  Hand picked flowers
9.  Pizza Margherita
10. Eating meals outdoors with good company and great conversation
11. Playing in the dirt. Most worms and bugs do not scare me either. Except earwigs...and centipedes.
12. Mason jars
13.My herb garden
14. Wooden spoons
15. Hydrangeas
16. Hats
17. Spices and seasonings
18. Making food from scratch
19. Funny conversations with my kids
20. Alfredo sauce

21. Bunny rabbits
22. Lobster with melted butter
23. Cookbooks
24. My grandmother's vintage holiday decorations
25. The smell of a man's cologne
26, Roadtrips!! I am Becky's Co-Pilot! I suck at being a co-pilot sometimes. LOL!
27. My vintage tin kitchen canisters that are not really vintage but look vintage.
28. My Pittsburgh Steelers and all football!!
29. People I can bare my entire soul to who do not judge me or change their opinion of me. So rare.
30. When my daughter just knows....and hugs me unexpectedly

41. Foreign films
42. Pizza with sweet sauce
43. Wooden roller coasters
44. Writing
45. Handwritten notes
46. Crime shows
47. Snuggling under the covers on cold nights 
48. The French Quarter, NOLA
49. NY Finger Lakes wine
50. Witnessing my children do things that make them happy
51. Telling/listening to stories about good memories, adventures and fun times
52. My blonde moments. (Trust me, they shock me more than anyone else when they occur.)
53. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
54. My Batgirl nightgown complete with cape
55. Eating, drinking, talking and laughing with my family and extended family
56. Boat rides
57. Fried Dough with granulated sugar. (Not powdered sugar, although that is ok.)
58. The sound of waves crashing
59. My Lord of The Rings Books
60. The colors of autumn

61. Kissing
62. Taking pictures
63. Missing someone and knowing they miss you too
64. General Stores/Souvenir Shops
65. Memories of my grandparents 
66. Goofy, random texts between my sister and me
67. Making wishes
68. Summer dresses
69. "You can't make this shit up moments" with my silly, goofy friends, kids and family
70. Accomplishing something I never thought I could. Age is just a number. I have personally proved how timeless I can be to myself. 

71. Handbags/Totebags
72. Naps
73. Farmer's markets/flea markets
74. Making people laugh, whether it is intentional or not
75. Sharing something I have been through to help someone else
76. Knowing all the challenges/hardships I have faced in this life and still managing to keep my loving, goofy, silly personality and childlike spirit. 
77. Crossing things off my bucket list, especially with people I am close with/love. 
78. Lilacs
79. Breakfast foods
80. Farmer's Diet Ice Tea (This is one of the things preventing me from moving out of the area.)

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Heather Fessler

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Rebecca Brominski
  1. The simple question "How was your day?" (And the person genuinely wants to know.) 
  2. Fresh Brewed Coffee
  3. Smell of fresh, clean laundry
  4. Conversation with a good friend where you laugh and cry at the same time. 
  5. Tuesday night fun (TGIT) with Meg
  6. Sunshine
  7. Rain on a sunny day
  8. Sitting on the back of a boat
  9. Reading
  10. Bundled in a warm sweatshirt on a cool morning
  11. Checking out the stars
  12. The sound of water
  13. Getting lost
  14. Road Trips
  15. My goofy friends
  16. Girls' night dinners
  17. Birthday celebrations
  18. Fresh cut flowers
  19. Silence
  20. Car rides with CFess 
51. Inappropriate conversations with Jacob, Caitlin and Brigid
52. Cards Against Humanity
53. Hugs
54. My niece and nephews
55. Hanging laundry
56. Cowboy boots
57. Matching bra and panties
58. Wearing an old friends' t-shirt
59. Walking down the middle of a street during a significant snowfall
60. Christmas lights

71. Broccoli cheese casserole like my grandma Ruth used to make     
72. My sister's/mom's cheesecake
73. Ice cream trips with Lil Miss P and Mason at Hillside
74. Not leaving anyone behind
75. Kielbasa 
76. hats
77. Horse racing
78. Reading trashy romance novels out loud to friends
79. Breakfast foods
80. Teaching Landon fun and bold stuff
81. A good cry
82. Laughing so hard you can't stop
83. Pizza with friends
84. Getting a text saying " I love how positive you are."
85. Turtles
86. Using power tools and doing woodwork
87. Smell of a thick sharpie marker.....yes I sniff them (Author's note: Total Badass!! Christian DeCosmo Fessler)
88. Organized closet
89. Color red
90. Homemade icing    

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Alicia DeCosmo Sanders

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Terri Shisko McGarry

21. Mom and dad
22. Jim (husband)
23. Danielle (sis) & her family   
24.  Michelle (cousin) & her family
25. Janine (cousin) & her family  
26. Uncle Charlie and Aunt Jeanne 
27. Bryan (brother from another mother) & his family    
28. Josie & Jim (in laws)
29. Cindy (sis in law) & her family
30. #23
31. Little kids laughing
32. Hydrangeas
33. Going to church and feeling better afterwards
34. Scrambled Eggs
35. Stickers
36. Birthdays
37. The Golden Girls
38. The Family Guy
39. Sangria
40. The Smell of Gain

71. Guacamole
72. Bunnies
73. S'More
74. Dirty Martinis
75. Glitter
76. Penny Slots
77. Baking
78. Thanksgiving
79. Soft serve ice cream in the summer
80. Ankle bracelets

91. Puppies
92. Seashells
93. Olives
94. The Shawshank Redemption
95. Greeting cards
96. Roses 
97. When people like what I made to eat
98. Chapstick
99. Tasty Kake Juniors
100. Titanic/ Movie
101. Chrissy Fessler

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Tracy Watkins

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Krista Bailey
  1. My best hand holder    
  2. Coffee
  3. Maine
  4. My mountain
  5. Anything chocolate
  6. Long kisses at sunset on the beach
  7. Pasta
  8. My critters
  9. My friends
  10. My boys
  11. Coffee
  12. Being a dreamer
  13. Quiet
  14. Waffles
  15. The smell of fresh cut grass
  16. Oreos
  17. Rain on my skylight
  18. Sunsets
  19. My job
  20. My hand holder    

61. Smiling
62. Chicago
63. Long drives by yourself
64. Feeling loved
65. Pork BBQ
66. Holding hands
67. Long kisses
68. Strong hands
69. Tears of missing
70. My truest friend
71. Fresh cut grass
72. Pierogies
73. Hot sausage
74. Faith
75. Sunrises at the beach
76. Chocolate cake
77. My dad
78. Romance
79. Passion
80. My best 

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Cindy Schultz

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Jere Croll

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Chris Croll

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Tiffany Lynn DiSabella
  1. My kids laughing  
  2. My hubby
  3. Puppies
  4. Italy
  5. The smell of a baby
  6. Christmas
  7. Prince
  8. The color green
  9. Dr. Pepper
  10. The beach
  11. Emeralds
  12. The number 8
  13. Notting Hill
  14. Grease The Movie
  15. Snow on Christmas Eve/Day
  16. Plain M&Ms
  17. Pizza
  18. San Pellagrino water
  19. Piave cheese
  20. CMP sundaes  
61. Wen shampoo/conditioner
62. Tequila/Vodka  (Author's note: That's my girl! ....Christian DeCosmo Fessler)
63. Mexican food
64. Twilight books/movies
65. A random act of kindness
66. Scarves
67. Shoes
68. Yoga pants
69. The Winedown (Wine bar in West Reading)
70. Mike's Tavern (Bar in Reading)
71. Holding hands with my hubby
72. Hugs
73. Kisses
74. Butterfly kisses from my kids
75. Eskimo kisses from my kids
76. Seinfeld
77. Brushing my teeth
78. Rainy days
79. People Magazine

80. Yellow roses
81. Gerber daisies
82. Cala Lillies
83. Cosmopolitans
84. Margaritas
85. Target
86. Butterflies
87. Grilled hot dogs
88. Aruba
89. Candles
90. Spontaneous road trips

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Malania Gelezinsky

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Tracey Applebey

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Julia Mackey 

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Renee Heimbach

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Tammy Barkus Jones

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Celeste Pacelli

11. Knowing how to free yourself from toxic people
12. Knitting
13. Sparkling water
14. Gin
15. Baked brie
16. Sitting in the sun
17. Cuddling
18. Cool breezes
19. Flowers
20. Getting text messages in the middle of work

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Barry Faust

A Few Of My Favorite Things by Ed

"I guess I'm not depressed after all."
" I needed this more than you know."
"I forgot how much I truly enjoy my life."
"I am blessed."
"I need to make this list."

Sometimes we get so caught up in the stress and disappointment of life that we forget how beautiful and amazing it can be. Time is precious. We are not guaranteed another tomorrow. Know that. Live it. Do not let a stormy moment affect your entire day. Do not allow the negativity of others to affect your character. Make a list. Carry it around with you. Who cares if what others think when you pull it out and glance at it. If this simple list can help change your "weather", then how is that a bad thing?

What I am about to say  is not meant to sound negative or discouraging, just honest. Everyday, it is just us....we are all individuals. We are born alone and we die alone. And yes, we may be a part of something bigger, and that is so amazing, but we can only truly depend on ourselves to control our weather. Depending on anyone else to guarantee you a sunny day is called co-dependence, and that is not a good thing. You are not your friends, you are not your family, you are not your significant other, you are not your job, you are not your income. You That is all.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

#276 See What's Happening In Your Community: Walmart Bingo NEPA Style

This is more of a tongue in cheek look at what is happening in my community. Wrote this one a few years back. Some minor adjustments but otherwise, still true. I still piss myself reading it.

*names have been changed to protect the guilty parties.

Wal-Mart- n. the demigod of all discount super chain stores.

Did you know I actually worked at a Wal-Mart on the overnight shift for about 6 months when my children were toddlers? My shift ran from Midnight until 8:00 AM. It was quite amusing to say the least. The drunk people would start filtering into the store around 1:30AM. For the next few hours they would provide plenty of entertainment for us cashiers. It was around 3:00- 3:30AM that they would start to sober up somewhat, realize they bought a bunch of crap they didn’t need and would rather go home and pass out on their own bed rather than in the sporting good aisles while wearing white and pink roller skates or bright orange hunting pants.

Some of them would even attempt to make returns on their spontaneous purchases. Have you ever tried telling a drunk guy that he cannot have a refund for the half eaten bag of Doritos and an empty 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew he consumed? They were usually too inebriated to give you a strong argument, so ultimately it became a waiting game along the lines of who would give be the first to give. It was never me! The conversations went something like this:

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but I cannot give you a refund for the food you ate”
Drunk Guy (looking hurt): “Why?”
Me (trying to keep a straight face): “Because you ate it.”
Drunk Guy (talking into the bag of Doritos): “Well I didn’t eat all of it. There is some left. Hey do you want a Dorito?”
Me: “No but thanks for offering.”
Drunk Guy: “Well can I get half my money back?”
Me (laughing my ass off): “No. Once you open it you cannot get a refund.”
Drunk Guy (Now swaying and slurring while holding onto the side of the conveyor belt for dear life, crushing any Doritos that were left in the bag): “I return stuff here all the time. I returned a vacuum cleaner last week because it was missing a piece of the hose thingy. I only knew that because I opened the box. That nice lady at Customer Service let me return it. Sooooooo (Dramatic Pause).................................................................................. what’s the problem?”
Me (tears running down my face from laughing): “Well…A vacuum cleaner is not food. Once you open a food product you pretty much bought it.”
Drunk Guy ( thinking this over in his mind while wearing a painful expression on his face. I could smell the wood burning now.): “What if the food is bad?”
Me: “If the food was bad, you wouldn’t have eaten half a bag’s worth and an entire bottle of soda now would you have?”
Drunk Guy (stunned): “ Oh…yea! You’re right!”
Drunk Guy ( walking around to my side of the register): “Can I check out the next person that comes to the register?”
Me (slapping away the drunk guy’s hands as he attempted to press keys on the register): “No, you can’t. In fact, you can’t be back here at all. You need to go home and sleep.”
Drunk Guy (smirking with raised eyebrows): “You wanna come with?”
Me (headache starting to take hold from laughing too much): “No. I don’t.”
Drunk Guy (stumbling back to the other side of the register): “So I really can’t get a refund? Are you 100% positive? Come on. I was really drunk when I came in here. I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Me: “ Nice try but the answer is still no. And by the way, you are still drunk!”

Yes, I have had a taste of both sides of the Wal-Mart anomaly. In fact, some of my friends work there and I am sure they have plenty of hilarious stories they could share. They could probably write a comedy about all they have seen during their tenure at Wal-Mart. A modern day take on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales perhaps?

It’s these very Wal-Mart sights that have brought me to the whole point of this story. Did you know that out in Internet land there is a game called Wal-Mart Bingo? It’s okay if you didn’t know about it because I sure as hell did and not only am I going to share the card with you, but since Wal-Mart had originated in Benton, Arkansas leaving the original card biased by favoring our southern countrymen, I have taken it upon myself to create a NEPA version of the Wal-Mart Bingo Card.

It’s okay. You can all thank me later. I really felt strongly that it was important for NEPA to have a voice in the Wal-Mart Bingo market just because. ( I used my time on unemployment wisely!) After much research by my lovely assistant (We will call her Madonna.) and myself, I feel this card is definitely suited for my neck of the woods.

Before I go any further though, I feel I need to put out a disclaimer. Anyone that knows me knows that I am one of the nicest, most non judgmental people you could ever meet. I don't judge others unless they give me a reason to. I love just about everyone. Appearances are just that, appearances. If you are a good person or a cool person, you are good with me. To hell with everything else! You may not be able to tell that by my writing but it is true. It is also true that I am not at all afraid to point the finger at myself because quite honestly, I can be somewhat ridiculous and downright quirky. I fly my freak flag proudly! So…… just take this for what it is, comedy. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Original Wal-Mart Bingo Card has 25 squares just like a regular bingo card. It even has a free space just like a regular bingo card which makes it so much more realistic! Some of the squares could fit just about anywhere in this country so they will remain intact on my NEPA version of the card as well but others are more divergent, and while they do happen at my Wal-Mart, they do not happen in the frequency that other occurrences do. We want to be able to complete a card with every visit to the store, so I wanted my card to be user friendly to my fellow NEPA’ers.

Off we go….

The “B” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- “Rat Tail” hair style
While very similar in nature to the mullet, the rat tail is much thinner in the back. Sometimes the rat tail is braided, sometimes it is dyed a funky color like blue or green but nonetheless the “Party” is not as hopping as a genuine mullet and we NEPA’ers take our partying seriously so on my card….
Spot 1 NEPA - “Mullet” hair do
Business in the front, party in the back. If the mullet happens to have a perm then you have pretty much hit the jack pot. BINGO!!

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Rebel Flag T-shirt
Some pick up trucks in my neck of the woods don a rebel flag decal or sticker but it is rare that someone is walking around in "full on" rebel flag gear so on my card we are going to save this spot for….
Spot 2 NEPA - Bright Orange or Camouflage Hunting Apparel
NEPA is known for its large contingency of hunters and fishermen. My dad, his dad , his dad over in Italy all hunted. My uncles, my brother, my brother’s friends and their family members hunt and fish. Even my sister and myself fish. Alicia and I wanted to hunt too but Bill Sr. nixed that idea the moment I uttered the words "I want to shoot a real gun!". He cited something about several incidents involving my brother’s BB gun, a few of the neighborhood boys, visits from the injured parties' parents and young raging female hormones. Blah blah blah... ( Mostly Alish! LOL!) Anyway, yes, hunters and fishermen are very proud of their hobbies and wear their colors loud, even in the off season, if there even is an off season. There is always a new animal to hunt every month with a different weapon it seems. More reasons to buy weapons and eat red meat for male bonding I guess.

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Dirty Diaper Left in the Parking Lot
What can I say here except I can do you one better….
Spot 3 NEPA - Smashed Dirty Diaper in the Parking Lot
Why? Because someone threw it under a car trying to hide the fact that they were too lazy to walk to one of the trash receptacles to properly discard of it. Nonetheless it was run over again and again and again by unsuspecting patrons making it look like.... the most disgusting pancake ever! If you happen to accidentally step in said smashed dirty diaper, you can just go ahead and claim Bingo immediately because that really sucks for you.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Child Over 5 Drinking From a Baby Bottle
We see that here in NEPA too, but more often we see…
Spot 4 NEPA - Randomly Eaten Food Items Hidden on Shelves
Hidden candy bar wrappers, open bags of chips, and half eaten cookies are what I mostly come across on my adventures in Walmart but once I found the remnants of a frozen Michalena's dinner hidden, complete with dirty plastic spoon behind boxes of pasta. It was a fresh kill too. Still partially frozen. Seriously?? Are you really that desperate and hungry? Don’t get me wrong, I have opened an ice tea container to drink while shopping on occasion, especially in the winter because blasting the heat with the windows up while chain smoking makes me parched. It happens. The difference is I always pay for what I take.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone Giving Away Kittens
In NEPA we usually just advertise in the newspaper that kitty got out into the hood again, came home knocked up and we are looking to give her offspring away to a good home so my card shall say….
Spot 5 NEPA - The White Family That Thinks They Are Black
Yes, this is quite common in NEPA. No doubt black people have a unique style that is just down right cool but imitation is not always the best form of flattery. White people cannot pull off the finesse that black people naturally have so when seeing this form of so called “flattery” it is just downright sad. Even more sad is to see a whole family trying to pull this off. Reality check….you are white and so is the rest of your family. You are not from the Bronx. You are from the Valley. I went to school with you.You are not fooling anyone.

The “I” Line

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Child Without Shoes
Since we sometimes experience harsh winters in NEPA, parents at least make sure their kids are wearing sandals when venturing outdoors most of the time although there are a few bitches I have come across that I would like to slap for how they dress little ones in the freezing weather. And for Christ's Sake's bathe these poor kiddos once in awhile. Lazy ass m@therf@ckers. More fitting would be….
Spot 1 NEPA - Ghetto Cars in the Parking Lot
What defines a “ghetto” car? Some ghetto cars are suped up machines that really never had any business being suped up in the first place. Example: A Chevy Cavalier or Ford Tempo with a racing wing riveted to the trunk of the car, or a Dodge Caravan with flames painted on it’s sides. Other ghetto cars include vehicles with more primer than actual paint, garbage bags for passenger windows, decals or bondo holding the vehicle intact, and/or bumpers or doors tied in place with bungee cord. You get the picture. We all go through moments when something happens to our car and we are forced to drive it a little ghetto until we can get it repaired, but if you are driving it more than a month like that, yea, you are driving a full fledged ghetto car.

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- White Girl with 3+ Multi Racial Children
Yea, I’m not even going to touch this one. On my card…
Spot 2 NEPA - White Girl with 3+ Multi Racial Children

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Someone Using a Voice Box
People that talk with voice boxes still scare the hell out of my son and he is 16. As for me, I don’t come across many voice boxes in my Wal-Mart so instead let’s chose this for the next spot…..
Spot 3 NEPA - Facial Piercings Gone Wild
Piercings can be very sexy when not over done but to some people, moderation is way over rated. I shall give you an example. Last Saturday I was at Wal-Mart. For a moment I honestly believed they were filming another sequel to Hellraiser in the dairy aisle. Only this time, they cast a female to take over the role of Pinhead. Seriously! There was this girl in her late teens, early twenties whom had at least five lip piercings, two Marilyn Monroe piercings, two nose piercings (probably to evenly distribute the weight of all the metal on her face), several eyebrow piercings, sewing needles, a few staples, several paperclips, a padlock, a set of Black and Decker drill bits and .........I may be going out on a limb here, but I would bet my paycheck she had her tongue pierced too although I did not see it. Why would anyone purposely poke that many holes in their face? I must be old's your FACE!! I don't get it. ( I will say I have my tongue pierced as well and I love it! I'm not old, I'm fabulous! )

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Someone Buying Beer and Diapers
Don’t even get me started on this. We can't do fancy stuff like this in Pennsylvania. We suck. Although at the Weis store, hmmmm....I can always get some diapers in the baby aisle then walk over to the beer section and pay for both in the deli. Okay yea, I guess we are semi fancy. I see this more though.....
Spot 4 NEPA - The Ugly Couple Buying Sex Products 
They say there is someone for everyone and dammit it’s true. That is wonderful, makes my heart smile. And, while I am all about safe sex and lotions for increasing your pleasure as well as your stamina, making out and grabbing each others privates while giggling about your new purchases paints a picture in my mind that I would so rather not see. Puke City! Save it for the bedroom. Pretty please?

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone With Puke or Blood on Their Clothes
I am changing this spot just because that is completely nasty, blood makes me faint occasionally and I don’t even want it on my card. Instead we sometimes suffer from.…..
Spot 5 NEPA - The Random Cart Taking Up A Parking Space
You are driving through the crowded lot looking for a place to park within 2 miles of the store when like a ray of golden light, you see it. "This can’t be!" you exclaim. Why yes, it’s true! There is an open spot relatively close to the handicapped parking near one of the entrances. Why has no one else claimed this glorious treasure? You decide to step on the gas and race to the spot before anyone else notices this 8th wonder of the world. You are almost there. Finally you turn halfway into the spot when a shopping cart with a huge red alarm shaped like a “Stop Sign” lights up and says “Denied!”  People walking back to their cars now have the pleasure of watching you angrily back out of the spot, mouthing what could only be George Carlin’s 7 dirty words. Sons of bitches Bumpuses!! It’s times like these that you wish you hadn't told your kids “no” when they asked to come to the store with you. They could have moved the cart for you. Karma is a bitch isn't it?

The “N” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Woman with Curlers in Her Hair
Isn’t she lovely? Do women still use curlers with all the advanced hair technology out there like hot hair rollers, curling irons, perms and the curling shampoo crap? Sometimes my mother would set my naturally curly hair in rollers before bed because she was Satan and enjoyed making my life a living hell. Strega! Why put yourself through that pain when you can burn yourself with a 380 degree curling iron and get instant results? Yea… sure you burnt yourself on the neck with your curling iron……slut!! (I’ve used the excuse too ladies. It happens to the best of us and it’s a damned good time when it happens.) A more common eyesore in NEPA would be…..
Spot 1 NEPA - Females Wearing Pajamas
I know this is a pet peeve for many because I have seen more Facebook posts concerning this topic than just about anything else. It is right up there with political outrage and girls that looooooove their boyfriends. Look, I know pajamas are comfy and sometimes we do not want to get out of our pajamas. I know I don't but seriously....if you are running errands, take two minutes to put on regular clothes. You don’t even have to match, just spare the general public from having to see little gray sheep plastered over your hot pink flannel bottoms or your nightshirt that says Sleepy Devil with a picture of a grinning Tasmanian Devil. If you ignore my advice and insist on wearing your pajamas to the store, at least put on shoes. Yes people come to the Wal-Mart wearing bedroom slippers. Have we really become that lazy??

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Someone Using an Oxygen Tank
When I see someone with an oxygen tank I make it a point to be at least two feet away from them when lighting my cigarette. Safety first people! I've seen this more in restaurants than in my Wal-Mart. What we do see a lot of in NEPA Wal-Marts are….
Spot 2 NEPA - People with Full Carts in the Express Line
The express line can be a beautiful thing if used properly. You are in and out of the store in a relatively painless fashion. Usually several express lines are open at all times, unlike the 20 regular check out lines in which if three to five are open it is a miracle. There is a ripple effect at play concerning the 1500 registers that are lined in the front of the store, but not being operated. People look at the 3 normal lines open with 75 + people waiting, say eff that, and try to sneak into the express lanes because they do not want to be in line for 5 hours.
Sneaking in to the express line with even say, 5 items over the limit is acceptable, but when you have 30 individual cans of alpo, 20 cans of soup, 17 jars of baby food, 8 clothing items which require removal of hangars (FML... adding more time to the check out process), 5 loaves of bread, 3 cartons of eggs and a box of rubbers, you have overstepped the boundaries of shopping etiquette. 10 items or less means 10 pieces of merchandise, not 10 product types. I say this because believe it or not, people have said to me "Well, yes I have 50 things in my cart but technically they only equal 3 items because it is all soda, ramen noodles and ice cream sandwiches. 3 is less then 10.” Clever….NOT. Man up and stand in the right line people! And fuck WIC checks! They put foodstamps on cards now, why not do the same for WIC?? And people stop trying to get cheese and cereal that is not on the list! It never works!

Free Space Original Bingo Card and NEPA Card- Someone Oblivious to the Fact That They Are in Your Way
Oh this spot is so much staying on my card because it is by far my number one pet peeve of all time. Wal-Mart’s aisles are fairly large. Why people need to park their cart smack in the middle of the aisle while perusing the shelves is beyond me. What pisses me off to the point of psychotic rage is when these oblivious jerks look right at you, standing there patiently waiting for them to get their sh@t out of the way, ignore your presence and go right back to browsing. You did NOT just do that?? WTF??? Depending on my mood, which is usually already agitated since I am in Wal-Mart, this is when I sometimes let my anger get the best of me and I ram their cart out of the way. I have done it plenty of times. I will continue to do so until this madness stops. The look of surprise they give you when you perform such an action is priceless. I have yet to get into a fist fight at Wal-Mart but the odds are in favor of it happening eventually. And please do not let me see you hogging the aisle while having a conversation or yapping on your cell phone because I am not above hitting someone with their own cart. I've done that before as well. Good times!
I understand sometimes people do not realize they are blocking the aisle. I've done it too but I apologize and move my cart immediately. It's called common courtesy. So much has become lost in this world. Sometimes people need reminding. I'll gladly assist in that with a shopping cart to the ass!

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Entire Family Wearing NASCAR Apparel
There are plenty of NASCAR fans is NEPA and yes, we do see families that love Dale Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson so much that they feel the more coordinated they are with one another, the more “outsiders” (non racing fans) will feel the love. Some families even have throwback days of old and wear Dale Jarrett, Richard “The King” Petty and Terry Labonte apparel. But, as much as the area has embraced NASCAR there is no denying this area’s hearts belong to….
Spot 4 NEPA - Entire Families wearing NFL or MLB Apparel 
NEPA is situated among several major metropolises. New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore are all within a 2 and a half hour drive while Pittsburgh, Boston and DC a mere 4-5 hours travel. Of course this is Pennsylvania so the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Phillies win the vote for most popular, but there are almost as many NY Giants and NY Yankee fans parading about. Coming in third are NY JETS, NY Mets, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Boston Red Sox fans.
Let’s just say this area takes it’s football and baseball very seriously and we wear it proud. I myself have a collection of Pittsburgh Steelers shirts that would make other fans envious, but ever since my kids have been old enough to dress themselves, we can no longer match in public because they could care less about football much to my heartbreak and dismay. (They get this from their father. No wonder we are divorced. I don’t care what team my next husband likes but he sure as hell better like football!)

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Unattended Crying Children
I know when your kid decided to pitch a massive fit in the middle of the crowded store because you would not buy them candy bars or toys, your first instinct was to walk away and put yourself in an ‘adult time out” since that bottle of whiskey was not handy. However, leaving kids alone to cry is wrong. Anyone that gives you a dirty look has obviously never had any kids because most parents have found themselves in this situation plenty of times. And while I am beginning to see more and more of this...I still see more of the following.....
Spot 5 NEPA - The Husband with the “Oh My God  Will My Wife EVER Shut The F@ck Up” Look on His Face
Yes, you married a social butterfly. Yes she knows everybody on the planet. What should have been an hour long trip to the Wal-Mart has now turned into a 5 hour journey into conversation hell because your wife/significant other cannot give a simple hello to everyone she knows. She must also stop and talk to each and everyone of them. To make matters worse, she has no filter, so all your personal business such as how you shave your back hair, religiously watch Grey’s Anatomy with her or suffer from hoof and mouth disease become public domain. These men are easy to spot. They are usually leaning on the shopping cart with a dazed or disgusted look on their face. Sometimes they just glare at the object of their affection. Sometimes they start pacing around the cart. If you catch one of these poor souls inadvertently begin to face palm, then they have just entered the fifth level of hell. May god have mercy on their souls. No wonder the first thing men do after a trip home from Wal-Mart is crack open a beer, sit in the recliner, turn on the baseball game and shove their hand down their pants. It’s all they can do to keep their sanity.

The “G” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Someone Wearing an Eye Patch
I don’t know about other parts of the country but NEPA’s Pirate population has diminished considerably since like…the late 1700’s, so this would be a little more suitable for my card……
Spot 1 NEPA -Hitting a Pothole While Driving to the Wal-Mart
If you live in NEPA, then you are more than aware of the chronic pothole disease that affects our area. If you visit NEPA, you have most certainly come across the canyon-like craters littering our network of roads. Even President Bush visited the area and said to our mayor “What the f@ck is up with all the pot holes man?” The NEPA pot hole phenomena can be contributed to the weather and coal mining: harsh winters, rainy springs/autumns, and hot summers as well as a maze of abandoned under ground tunnels that would rival the hedge maze in The Shining.
It’s the underground tunnels that were once denizen to miners that sometimes create what I will proudly quote from Jean Shepherd as the “Queen Mother” of all pot holes, the "Sink Hole". The sink holes are even more dangerous because they can eventually swallow a house whole. I've seen cars gobbled up by really bad sink holes. We even have a whole town that had to be abandoned due to underground mine fires. That would be Centralia, which rumor has was the inspiration screen writer Roger Avery mused for the movie Silent Hill. Anyway, much to the dismay of tire rims and front alignments across the area, pot holes sometimes can’t be avoided because the whole street is one giant pot hole. 15th Street in Hazy during winter is a prime example. If you nail one on the way to Wally World, give yourself an “X” to match the spray painted “X” road crews put on the potholes for eventual filling and brace yourself for that jarring case of pothole whip lash!

Spot 2  Original Bingo Card- Kid Riding a Bike in the Store
Our Wal-Mart’s lock the hell out of the bikes so this is a no go. On my card we shall put….
Spot 2 NEPA - Using the Demo Video Game Systems in Electronics as a Baby Sitter
So I may be guilty of this offense, but my kids were older, like 9 and 10ish and we always reviewed what to do if a stranger approached and tried to steal them. And…I definitely know I am not the only one who has done this. Next time you are walking past the gaming section of the store, especially on a weekend, glance over at all the parentless children fighting over whose turn it is to play the latest Mario game. Guilty party….right here!

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Bearded Woman
Well Wal-Mart is definitely a three ring circus and my heart goes out to all the cashiers that have to act as ringmasters but the women up in my neck of the woods usually know to shave their beards and mustaches so on my card I‘m going to put….
Spot 3 NEPA - People Stopping Right in Front of The Exit Doors with Their Cart Blocking You from Freedom and Fresh Air
Why do people wait until they are right in the front of the exit door to come to a complete halt and root through their purse, check their purchases or converse with their shopping partner. I always seem to exit the store at the same time the woman, along with her sister, her mother, their three packed shopping carts and 10+ children are also exiting the store. One of them always stops right in the middle of the door to make sure the other 20 people in their party are with them. My theory is, they know where the car is parked, if they are not there in 15 the cops. Just get out of my way! Maybe I am more perceptive than most, but the first thing I think about when entering Wal-Mart is a game plan on how quickly I can get the hell out of there. I do notice when someone is prohibiting me from making a clean and speedy exit from the store. It’s like that final kick in the ass to my whole shopping experience.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Man Under 30 Without Any Teeth
Missing teeth, sometimes all but one or two, is more appropriate for this one time mecca of coal mining so I am just going to adjust my card to read….
Spot 4 NEPA - People Missing Random Teeth
And to make this more difficult (yea okay, like this one is difficult), you cannot “X” this spot if the person looks above the age of 50.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Pregnant Woman With Visible Tramp Stamp Tattoo
That doesn’t mean she is a tramp but it could mean she is one. There is a 50/50 chance. It’s a crap shoot. I happen to have an oh so original Tramp Stamp myself. It’s pretty freakin awesome too! So, yea, this happens in my neck of the woods, I guess I could leave it on my card but I like my selection much better….
Spot 5 NEPA - People Wearing Clothes Disproportionate to Their Body Size
I am guilty of sometimes wearing a size smaller than I really should. Most women are. But, if I notice my muffin top is coming a little too abundantly over the sides of my jeans, or if the oxygen flowing to my brain is cut off as soon as I sit down while wearing my jeans, I do what most women in my situation do, starve myself until I can breath semi- normal. However, there are some people out there that take this to the extreme. When I can see a 400lb man’s hairy navel peeking out from the bottom of his shirt like a large man‘s “crop top“ or the cellulite of a large woman’s ass screaming through her size small stretch pants, it’s all I can do to not run away screaming like that very cellulite. I’m not just going after large people either, just because you have a skinny body does not mean you should trollop around in your wonder bra and a skirt so short that I can tell what your natural hair color is. Anyone of any size can look great and sexy with properly fitting clothes and a little hygiene. It’s that simple. And dudes, while it is sexy to see a little flash of undies peaking out from your waistband, walking around like a retarded penguin with your jeans hanging mid to lower thigh cinched in a belt isn’t hot or sexy. It is amusing, a little sad, and gross if your tighty whites are not so tidy. Just sayin…..

The “O” Line:

Spot 1 Original Bingo Card- Obese Person Using a Scooter
What can I say about this one? I think it pretty much speaks volumes all on it’s own. (Maybe if you walked through the 10 million sq. foot store ….. ) This one shall also remain on my card although we call them motorized shopping carts more than scooters in NEPA….
Spot 1 NEPA - Obese Person Using One of The Motorized Carts 
Okay, so I've decided to add a little more to this one. It’s actually directed at all people riding the carts, obese people, teenage punks and the actual disabled. Stop blocking the effing aisle with that thing or I’ll detach the cable running to the battery! Ever try moving one of effin those things when it’s not charged? Yea, thought so. Go ahead, make my day!

Spot 2 Original Bingo Card- Frozen Food Left To Thaw in a Random Aisle
This cracks me up every time I come across it. Nothing like destroying even more merchandise by melting a half gallon of Blue Bunny Birthday Cake Ice Cream all over a neatly folded stack of bath towels. Guess they were concerned about the mess and figured the towels would absorb the liquid. How thoughtful of them. Or how about the random box of Gorton’s Fish Sticks shoved in between the Ritz Crackers and Wheat Thins. Those boxes probably smell really nice after sitting next to the thawed out fish that has permeated the air. Look, if you are too lazy to walk the product all the way back to it’s proper spot at least put it somewhere in the vicinity like the freezer or the cooler. Wow people! This one will definitely remain on my card.
Spot 2 NEPA - Frozen Food Left To Thaw in a Random Aisle 
See Above

Spot 3 Original Bingo Card- Tear Drop Tattoo
I don’t think I have seen a tear drop tattoo on someone at my Wal-Mart ( We do not discuss those tattoos up here unless you are asking for trouble) but I sure as hell have seen these…….
Spot 3 NEPA- Tribal Tattoos
Let’s make this one easy, if you happen to see me wandering aimlessly around the store, talking to myself, walking at Mach 10 because I so want to get the hell out of there, you can go ahead and just put a big ole “X” on this spot. I am one of the billions that have a Tribal Tattoo which I happen to love very much. You can’t see mine unless I bend over or squat since it a "lower back" stamp as I have revealed in another spot but it is there and will be forever because tattoos are permanent which is why you will never, ever, ever see me ever, ever sporting a man’s name tattooed on my body. Ever!! That shit is expensive to remove.

Spot 4 Original Bingo Card- Someone Missing a Limb
Yea, that’s unfortunate. On my card we have….
Spot 4 NEPA - The Chatty Cathy or Talkative Tim Holding Up The Check Out Line
Sure, small talk is acceptable to fill in awkward silences. It’s actually very courteous and polite to give acknowledgement to the person handling your purchases but honestly, the cashier does not need a detailed reenactment of  your Aunt Lucy’s cataract surgery or infinite detail about how your cat Fluffy is emotionally rejecting you because you no longer buy her canned tuna. She does not want to hear your life story and neither do the 50 people standing in line behind you. Shut the f#ck up, grab your bags and move along. If you have things you need to “work” through or want an ear to bend, call a psychiatrist.

Spot 5 Original Bingo Card- Someone With Unbearable Body Odor
EVERY SINGLE TIME I enter a Wal-Mart I encounter this. Every time! Now granted, my olfactory senses are much keener than most but stanky is stanky. Bathing occasionally, wearing deodorant, brushing your teeth, drying your clothes in a timely manner and not letting them sit in the washing machine for days, all good things. I shouldn’t have to douse myself with body spray before entering the store so I only smell myself smelling like flowers or cotton candy, but I do as a precaution. Obviously this is staying on my card too….
Spot 5 -Someone With Unbearable Body Odor
Hygiene people! Practice makes perfect!

So here it is..... NEPA's Version of the Wal-Mart BINGO card for you all to enjoy. Hopefully you will be able to proudly yell BINGO when visiting the store. As for prizes, there are no tangible prizes. The real prize is being thankful that you are probably the most "normal" person in the Wal-Mart. See, life isn't so bad now is it?

Honestly, I do not have a problem with Wal-Mart in general, but going into the store and dealing with crowds of people almost makes me want to go back on my anxiety meds. I needed something fun to do to help keep my mind distracted from the crowds. Obviously I am not a fan of crowds because I have used the word crowds 17 times in this paragraph and no matter how much I mentally prepare for my trips to Wal-Mart, sometimes it just isn't enough.

In closing I would love to give credit to the originator of the Wal-Mart BINGO card but have no idea who it was. Who ever they are, thanks so much for the laughs. And remember…. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at others!


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