Headphones, Jack


Something was brought to my attention today.  I may have one too many sets of cheap/free headphones.  Sometimes, I can’t even open my headphone drawer — that’s how many heaphones I have.  I could say I used them for running, and needed extra, because after so much running they just fall apart, like tennis shoes do, now I forgot where I was going with that.

One of them is a child’s set (it belongs to my son) but I usually don’t bring them along to the restaurant to plug into the iPad lest people think I’m not just a bad parent, but a really bad one.

I can’t do the buds, so just forget the hell out of that, jerk who might have tried to help me out and suggest that space-saving option.  I need my entire ear canal enveloped in delicate, comforting foam.  And I need the security of a plastic thing resting across my hair, or, for a time in my twenties, across the bandanna covering my hair.

Actually, I long for a pair of those big, bulbous ones from the 70s and early 80s.  I can distinctly remember frequently plugging those into my stereo — I had finally gotten one (a stereo; the headphones were my father’s) in high school as a birthday gift from my mom and her boyfriend.  It wasn’t a particularly good or nice stereo, mainly because 3 of the main knobs belonged to a different unit altogether.  Mom said the store didn’t have the knobs in, that we would get them later, that these were temp knobs.  Picture a stereo from the 80’s, then picture that the 3 main knobs, not the fat ones but the smaller ones, stuck out about 3 inches and looked like someone forced them on with a tool.  Plus the knobs themselves looked like their original purpose was to wind something.

It’s because I was so excited to finally be able to listen to the radio and my records on the same console that I bought that cacamame story from my mom and that guy in the first place.  I was the music girl, the one who had the records that older people knew about, plus the obscure 80’s ones like Goanna and Let’s Active.  How was I to impress the teen set with this inelegantly refurbished model?  Well, the real knobs never came, so the answer is I didn’t.  I even offered to call the place periodically to check the status of the knobs, but mom said she’d do it, which I guess was code for she’s not going to do it.

So we’re voting for getting rid of all but the child’s headphones, although I need one for running and a spare for running.  So to get rid of one of them.

Funny girl

A very special thank you to Angie here at the Gainesville Hampton Inn — she read this blog and presented me with extra of these, so I wouldn’t have to swipe them secretly!  I laughed out loud.  And then I took them from her.

Pink and green and stained all over

In the mid-1980s, I carried the hell out of this purse — of course I did, it was pink and green and monogrammed and a clutch.  Its insanely high level of preppiness cannot be denied.

Preppy was the style du jour for us gals at Monnig Middle.  You know how today boys wear their pants around their thighs and girls wear skirts so short you can see their couscous?  Well, back then we wore cummerbunds and knickers to school, I guess like we were playing in a golf game and then going to a formal dance right after.

Thanks to The Official Preppy Handbook, edited and co-written by Lisa Birnbach, we knew all about the principles of prep.  As 13-year-olds, we had yet to grasp the concepts of irony or parody, so to us, this was a real guide to how to be preppy and we were deadly serious about following it to the damn letter.  To that end, we decided to give ourselves preppy nicknames like the ones described in the book.

As you can see from this photo, I was the self-appointed keeper of the log of who was who, nickname-wise.  I was Corkie.  Yes, as in the character from Life Goes On, which was, shut up, a terrific show.  (Then that doll Kellie Martin went on to play the main character in Christy, which is arguably the last great prairie show.)

I got the purse somehow I really don’t remember.  But I made the mistake of washing it and it bled all over itself.  I’ve hung onto it all these years in hopes that stain-removing technology would evolve. I, for no reason at all, have always been an optimist.

I recently took the purse to a specialty dry cleaner that was recommended to me, and they assured me that nothing at all could be done about the green-on-pink staining, now or probably ever.  To this I said “boo!” and marched out of there in a huff not really I was real nice.

Okay, so the voting here is on the purse, NOT the book.  Even with some pages missing and others defaced, I will keep the book forever.

Pretty papers

Behold!  A gift wrapped entirely with hoarded scraps of wrapping paper, ribbon, and packing materials!  Take that, husband who said I’d never use them!  Hey, I get it, it’s not the prettiest gift in the world, I may not be THE BEST at this.  Although, who am I to say, maybe I am the best at this? It’s settled, I am.

A young girl’s first angry letter

This is my college graduation program.  Why would I want to throw this away?  Read on, if you don’t mind being incensed on behalf of a 22-year-old me!

I’m taking you back to a much simpler time.  It’s the 90’s.  I am still loving Def Leppard and Patrick Swayze even though most people have moved on.  I am a senior nearing graduation.  I decide to do my final 3 credits as an internship the summer after my fourth academic year and graduate with those people.  Sure, I could have taken more than 12 credits per semester (plus 6 each summer) and graduated earlier, but then I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the outstanding grades I had there near the end.

Okay, so I’m graduating, and I decide I’ll go ahead and walk mainly because my mother would be in attendance and my cousin Doug was graduating at the very same time.  Now, I was in Orlando schlepping sandbags for Universal Studios all summer… not as drop-dead Hollywood glam as I thought a movie studio in Orlando Florida would be.  But I did get to do crowd control for the John Stamos Beach Boys and, separately, escort Cathy Moriarty to the bathroom.

I mention my terribly glamorous Orlando summer, as I had to apply for selection to the “Outstanding Graduating Senior Leader” from my remote, fabulous location.  I thought I was fairly worthy of consideration: I not only had a high honors-level GPA I somehow managed to pull out of the toilet, but I was also an officer in my sorority, the Creative Director for our big homecoming show, a student tour guide on campus, and a member of the prestigious Florida Blue Key leadership honorary.  Also, I once took an underprivileged kid to a basketball game and paid for his snacks.

I knew I wouldn’t be the one top girl selected — I am ambitious but always a realist.  I had a feeling I might be one of the extra few that got “Honorable Mention” — and I was!  Despite the rarity of such occurrences, I truly love being awarded for things and this was no exception.

So on graduation day in Gainesville, with my mother, grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins in the stands somewhere, I opened my booklet and skipped right to the Honorable Mention page.

Say what now?

I couldn’t believe I was left off the program!  How could they do this to me?!  I had given this school my most!  I had lobbied the Dean of the journalism school to change the AM radio station to this thing called ‘alternative’; I had only cheated on two tests, and just slightly; and, like I said, I bought that poor kid popcorn.  What the hell?

After placing more than one fact-finding phone call, I was sent a form letter saying a few people were left off the Honorable Mention list in the graduation program, and sorry.  Oh, but, this!  Would!  Not! Stand!

I fired off a letter — you heard me — to the Dean of Student Services.

It’s truly cringe-worthy stuff.  Especially the line “Needless to say, the magnitude of my embarrassment, anger, and frustration was without precedent.”  This so isn’t true — I had some jerk guy make me feel this way just weeks before!  “I can hardly believe a gross error such as this could be possible.”  Take that, dumbasses!  I hope some fat cat program typesetter gets fired!

The one line I still stand by: “As students, we would surely be judged more harshly if we forgot a brief list of names.”  There’s me.  There I am!

So, keeping this program (plus insert) keeps this upsetting memory and its ridiculous aftermath alive. But I do like that I didn’t take it lying down, which I hate to admit I do now mostly.

Professional organizer to the rescue, Part 2

Part 2 of my cleaning odyssey.  Hey, I spelled that word right on my first try!

Professional organizer to the rescue, Part 1

So, I purchased a Groupon that offered a discounted session with professional organizer Robyn Reynolds, who has worked for the show “Hoarders” and is a great gal in her own right.  Here is Part 1 of our story: