Monday, March 28, 2011

Rear Window revisited

Over the last year or so I have spent an inordinate amount of time at home, for one reason or another, and have become my own version of Rear Window.  I don’t go so far as using binoculars to spy, but I have to say, I’m quite the stalker.

We live in a neighborhood that backs up to a little shopping center, where the activity never stops.  From my backyard patio, looking up, you see beautiful trees and mountains and feel like you are in paradise. From the upstairs, you see CVS and the other lovely retail stores, getting quite the reality check.
Spending so much time upstairs in my office, [because I work from home, and am a computer junkie], I tend to stare out the window more often than not, while I work.  I have some of the best people-watching sightings from the comfort of my own home. You think waiting at the airport to board a flight is good stuff?  Come hang with me for a day. I have my own personal Wal Mart-like shoppers in my own backyard.

So here I sit, elbow on desk, chin resting in the palm of my hand, staring out at the hustle bustle of the parking lot. Out of the corner of my eye I see a person jogging and I turn to look at this woman running by, in a tutu. That’s right…she’s jogging in a pink tutu. Seriously? Why on earth would anyone consciously put on a tutu and go out for a run?
My favorite sighting is at lunch time, when the firemen pull up in their ‘rig’ and slowly descend from the fire truck…one by one...step by step…suspenders hanging down from their broad shoulders, draping their lean hips…their hard bodies…………..oh…sorry…I was getting a little carried away there.

There is a mailbox on the sidewalk across the street that does more business than the post office. I didn’t really think people did snail mail much anymore, but to my surprise, people are dropping off letters at all hours of the day and night. And they don’t quietly or gently open the chute door, they bang it open and closed like they are making sure everyone in a 5 mile radius can hear them. And who mails letters at 3AM in the morning? Let me tell you who…the people in my town do. Can’t they put it in their own mailbox and wait for the letter carrier to come, or at least do it a little more quietly so as not to bolt me to an upright position in the middle of my beauty sleep?
There is also a bank in this mini shopping center. Yes…I have the pleasure of staring out at the Chase sign; the bright blue NEON Chase logo that shines into my bedroom window each and every night.  But during the daylight hours…it’s amazing to watch the people and their habits as they use the ATM machines. Some of them looking around shifty eyed, like they are attempting to take money that’s not rightfully theirs. Body language abounds…frustrated when the machine isn’t spitting it out like it should. Stomping and hitting it until it does what they are electronically asking of it. Then there are those who are checking themselves out in that little camera mirror…picking food out of their teeth or fixing their hair, some even putting on lipstick. Do they not realize they are on camera and probably are the talk of the tellers the next day? I know when I go up to an ATM I try to act really nonchalant as if I don’t know I’m being taped…because I’m just that cool, [or so I like to pretend.]

I love watching the people who go into the little café. They walk in spry and bouncy and come out slow and lumbering…holding their stomachs, obviously having eaten too much. Show a little discipline people!
The car alarm noises are astounding. First of all, who even pays attention to car alarms anymore? The sirens and flashing lights are like an everyday occurrence and not one person looks over to see if anything out of the ordinary is going on. All it does it irritate the shit out of all the people in the surrounding areas to a point where you want to just go over and smash in the window yourself to turn it off. It would never occur to me that anyone was actually breaking into the car itself. Is that what car alarms are still used for? I think not.
Anyway…one afternoon I hear voices coming from the parking lot. Angry voices. Shouting voices. Inaudible to begin with until I open the window and peek my head out so far I almost fall over and splat onto the patio bricks. But I contain myself, although not able to hear any of the conversation; only muffled voices like the parents in the Peanuts cartoons. It had started with just one cop car. A few minutes later, another pulls up, and then another, until there are 6 cop cars surrounding this one guy.  He’s sitting on the ground yelling at them but no handcuffs are on him. So I figured he couldn’t have been trying to rob the bank or they would have immediately handcuffed him. He also wouldn’t be alone, because no one robs a bank by themselves. [Or so I’ve seen on NCIS and every other TV show I watch.]  They are there questioning him for what seems like hours. Then he tries to escape and I hear gun shots. Are you kidding me? Gun shots in MY neighborhood? Oh……..god. I duck down under my desk until I think it’s safe to come out, almost peeing in my pants.  When I finally do come out after who knows how long…everyone is gone. Huh? How can that be?

Later that day, I ask around if anyone had seen or heard anything, but most of the people I know are gone during the day…so no one knew anything. After a while, I let it go since I wasn’t getting anywhere with the neighbors, and had forgotten all about it. Then one night, I’m sitting on the couch, watching NCIS LA, and there is MY scene. There they all are…the cops, the guy sitting on the ground, the Chase Bank ATM and MY parking lot. MY parking lot! Wow…how stupid could I be?  How could I have not known they were shooting a scene? I guess all those trees I see from below were obstructing the cameras and lights from my view above. And then…as I’m watching the scene, they do a panoramic view from the parking lot, and there I am…there’s my little head looking out the window from across the street!

I believe I should be receiving royalties for my cameo role soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's lurking in Your medicine cabinet?

Ever since I was little I was told to take my vitamin every morning. So like a good little girl, I would pop my Flintstones into my mouth after careful deliberation of whether I wanted to chew Bamm-Bamm or Pebbles. Vitamins were supposed to ward off illnesses and keep our bodies strong, so over the years I have been adding more and more to my arsenal of medications. Recently I decided to take inventory of my collection to see if any have made a significant impact on my body and mind.

Of course we all take Multiple vitamins. They should take care of our entire body. But I decided as I aged, I needed to supplement individual bodily needs. There seems to be controversy on what vitamins are helpful for, but I have my own reasons for each.

The first was my skin. I was always told Vitamin A would keep my skin free of blemishes and age spots, so every day I crack one open and rub it all over my body. I have to say, my skin feels pretty good. It feels especially good when I have someone else help me "take" my vitamin A.

Next was the Vitamin B group…to help my digestive system. I'm not so sure exactly how that one is working. Is my stomach supposed to make gurgling sounds throughout the day and bloat little by little so that I look 8 months pregnant by evening? It’s also supposed to help your stress level. Yeah…I can tell you without a doubt…that info is wrong. I think maybe the experts must have confused the B vitamin and Xanax. So I took it upon myself to substitute one for the other. Now THAT really works! I’ve never been more relaxed in my entire life.

Vitamin C seems to be the multi-purpose vitamin. Honestly? I don’t see the purpose of this one at all. “It’s important in the formation of collagen to hold skin cells together and other body tissues” Really? What medical dictionary did this come from? My skin cells and body tissue are holding together all right, just a little further south than I would like. And each day…their grip gets a little looser so that at some point, I’m afraid my skin will just slide off my body.

Strong bones and teeth are serviced by Vitamin D with Calcium. If that’s the case…maybe I am using it wrong. Am I supposed to be inserting the actual vitamin in the places where my teeth once resided? I don’t notice my bones and teeth getting or staying strong. I just notice my gum line receding quicker than men’s hair follicles.

I was advised by a trusted friend to use Ginkgo Biloba so that I could improve my memory and concentration. I was excited to use this because my memory is very selective and my concentration lasts about one nanosecond. But every afternoon when I was scheduled to take it…I would forget. (You knew that one was coming!)

I added Manganese to my diet after going through menopause. It’s supposed to aid in the production of sex hormones. I didn’t really notice much difference after a few months of taking this, therefore, I thought I would also add Rhodiola Rosea, Ginseng, Maca (Peruvian Ginseng), Horny Goat Weed, Kava, L-Arginine, DHEA and anything else I could find. I now hump my couch about 20 times a day.

I do recommend Potassium for cramping. I would get the worst leg cramps and foot cramps during the night that would bolt me out of bed in excruciating pain. For those of you who have never had a cramp…imagine someone shoving their fist up your ass as far as they can and twisting your internal organs until they can’t twist anymore. I made sure I found a cure for that one…and potassium was my salvation.

I found some expired bottles of vitamins and other medications that have been there for quite some time. I always wondered what the effects would be after 2 or 3 years past the expiration date. I thought I would experiment with some, but then I realized, that may not be the best idea if it turns out to be fatal.

I have yet to conclude if any of these vitamins and supplements actually makes a difference (except for the surefire potassium). I know one place they ALL make a difference. And that would be my bank account. I wish I knew why I spent so much money on something I’m not even sure works, and makes me gag every time I try to swallow one of those horse pills.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Quicker Picker Upper

Feeling blue? A little down in the dumps? Need a quick pick-me-up? You may want to try the foolproof cure that never lets me down…..
A trip to CVS.
What is it about CVS that puts a smile on your face and a zing in your step? I love that place and always leave with things I absolutely do not need. The bright lights are so welcoming and say…come on in and check me out. You can always find whatever it is you need, and all those things you had no intention of ever wanting when you first came into the store.
My main reason for entering that money sucking death trap is to drop off a prescription. The dangerous choice is deciding to hang out until it’s ready instead of coming back later to pick it up.

Attempting to sit by the pharmacy window and wait out the “15 minutes” before it’s ready (ha…when has it ever taken only 15 minutes to fill a prescription?) is next to impossible. So I slowly make my way through the aisles thinking if I go down an aisle that doesn’t have anything I like, I may make it out safely with cash still in pocket. I start with the magnifying glasses aisle. I try on at least 20 pairs looking in the miniscule mirror trying to see how I look. How do they expect you to know if you like them when you can barely see yourself in the teeny, tiny reflection? Kind of defeats the purpose of the glasses, dontcha think? And the sales tag hangs down over your eyes and nose blocking half your vision. I stand there blowing at it to get it out of my way, almost hyperventilating…but to no avail.  At least I make it out of that aisle empty handed.
Moving on to the hair accessories aisle. Well…who doesn’t need hair accessories? I sure do…even if I don’t. I better go get a basket just for a couple of things: elastics, head bands, new brush…have to have a new brush. You can never have too many brushes. Oh…and of course, a new shower cap. Ok…that should do it…in that aisle. But wait…the travel items are right there, too. I have to get some of those, only because they are so cute. I love the little mini shaving crème and hair spray. Gotta have ‘em.
I check out the nail polish aisle next. I always am up for trying a new color on my toes. And a new nail file, polish remover, cuticle pusher backer thing, and any other thingamajig I can still fit into the basket.
The make-up aisle is a killer. I have never moved on to “designer” mascara so Maybelline still has my loyalty, and for some reason they come out with a new version on a daily basis. Half the back wall of the store is filled with Maybelline mascaras and I have to try each one to see if any makes my lashes luxuriously thick and long like it promises. I know those ads don’t lie and don’t use false eyelashes in their commercials, [not at all], but I still haven’t quite figured out why my lashes don’t lengthen 3 inches when I use the same mascara as the models. I’ll buy a couple anyway…just in case one of them actually does work.
The chotchkie section is my favorite. A whole aisle of absolutely useless merchandise that will look so great sitting in my closet. Where do they come up with this crap? It’s got to be left over, unwanted junk from someone’s yard sale that they think people will scoop up when they are in panic mode looking for a gift they forgot to get and need right away. I better grab something, just in case. You never know when I will be in that position of needing a gift for someone I really don’t like.
Last stop before pick-up… the greeting card aisle. There is something about standing there reading birthday cards that makes me need to go poop. I’m not sure what it is, maybe the relaxed state I’m in, but it’s the best remedy if you are ever constipated. Go read greeting cards at CVS. Luckily it is the last stop before the pick up so I sure hope my meds are ready.  
I wait in line patiently, get up to the counter and the girl brings my meds over.  “Anything else you would like me to ring up for you?”  “Um, yes, why yes there is.” And as I empty my overflowing basket I can feel all eyes glaring at me from the people waiting in line to pick up their prescriptions.

The tension is mounting from the crowd, as I unload my basket, item by item, while the girl behind the counter is ringing it all up.  I can hear the sighs coming from the line behind me, begging me to hurry up. The line has grown from 2 people to about 15, when suddenly the girl asks, in a voice so loud it was as if she had a microphone built into her tonsils… “Would you like the pharmacist to explain how to use your sexual arousal medication?”

Well, I managed not to hyperventilate in the glasses aisle but my breathing was becoming a bit labored at this point. And the rush of blood to my head felt like my blood vessels would burst at any moment. But I kept my composure and replied, “No thanks, I believe I’m well aware, as are these 15 other people now, but thank you.” I walked away with my head down and my 18 bags of goodies and once out the door…bolted for the car…only to realize I grabbed everything but the medication.