An important lesson

Quantum physicists will tell you that everything is made of energy. So will the beggar on the corner wearing cut off jeans and torn tie-dyed T-shirt. That is why garage sales are so satisfying to me. Here’s what I mean. When you go to a store, (let’s say Wal-Mart), you are bombarded with waves of newly reformed energy. Stuff that used to be other stuff reformed into new stuff. Stuff that has never been touched with love screaming out energy waves of “pick me, pick me”. It’s draining.
Now, consider shopping at a garage sale. You walk around formerly well-loved stuff. It smiles patiently at you, it’s not anxious. Yes, it could end up at the local St. Vincent de Paul’s, or even in the landfill, but it has already lead a full, rich life and is ready to move on. It’s a thrilling shopping experience. You walk around pondering…how much should I offer for this talking frog?…does this stereo work?…who in their right mind would buy a replica of doggie doo-doo made of dark chocolate?…and how much do they want for it? No matter how foolishly ridiculous your purchase may seem to others, you have no reason to be ashamed. You are secure in the knowledge that at least one other person on the planet not only thought it was a good idea to buy that radio shaped like a penis, but they paid more for it than you did.
Perhaps you can tell that I am no stranger to shopping in strangers’ yards. That I can often be found on a Sunday afternoon digging through boxes of dead people’s office supplies. That I probably have more stuffed animals and chipped knickknacks than anyone needs. But there is one thing that, on a bad day, irks the crap out of me. A poorly constructed yard sale sign. So, listen up, people. What I am about to teach you could save your life. Because one day I could snap, dig out that sling shot I bought from the retired naval officer, and start shooting. There is a very simple but widely misunderstood fact. The most important part of your sign is the address. People want to know where you are. We are already out, driving around looking for off the beaten path sales. We DO NOT CARE that in your opinion it’s the “biggest sale ever”. We don’t care if you have decided to call it a yard sale, carport sale, estate sale or “GIANT” sale. You may write that part of your sign in small print. But please, for the love of God, write the address nice and big. That’s all. That’s it. Don’t be the reason that I knock over one more cyclist who gets in the way while I drive down the bike lane trying to read the address scrawled at the bottom of your neon poster board. If you don’t understand why I am so passionate about this, then please just don’t have a sale. Donate your stuff to the local methadone clinic and go see a movie. You are a danger to yourself and others with your lackadaisical sign creation and must be stopped. Thank you.

Bathroom Equity

So, last night I was walking my dogs down by the gorgeous Oakland-Alameda estuary.  I adore the Grand Street Marina, mostly because there is a kinda clean 24 hour bathroom there.  Also because it is one of the few places in the area with free boat launching facilities.  No, I don’t have a boat right now, but it’s in the future experience of me.  Anyway, I digress.  We are talking about bathrooms today.  So I noticed that the men’s bathroom is very well lit, and yet BOTH lights are non-functional in the women’s room.  And I think this has been going on for a very long time.  This got me thinking (what doesn’t).  It is 2010, the end of the nameless decade, well into the new millennium.  We have a person of color as President of the United States for cryin’ out loud.  Why are there still separate but unequal facilities for peeing?  Maybe a man can explain it to me, but I just don’t understand why we can’t eliminate urinals and all pee together.

Yes, I can understand why men don’t want us women sauntering by, judging the “dink-a-dinks” as my granddaughter calls them.  But why do you guys need to stand around and pee together.  Can’t you just go in the stall, take care of business, and come out.  We could do that right next to each other.  Now for those brave men who have read this far, you may not understand why I care about this issue so fully.  But women understand.  Go to any large event.  You can pick the women’s room from a mile away.  The One With the Big Gnarly line.  In most situations, there are more women than men, so the lines are waaay long.  So, men of America, I say unto you.  Drop the urinal.  Let all restroom be free for all!

Laughter is better than medicine


Some people say that laughter is the best medicine.  I don’t agree.  Laughter is simply the best.  In my world, there is nothing better than sitting with friends, finding a funny notion and then running with it until we are figuratively peeing in our pants.  But I can also do this alone.  For example, I was sitting at Peet’s coffee last week, minding my own business (sort of) when I overheard a conversation about cemeteries.  OK, I know some of you are thinking, “what’s funny about cemeteries?”  Well, let me tell you.  Apparently they are filling up!  So much so that cemetery salesmen are urging a clever money making scheme.  Why in the world do you need two plots?  Just bury mom on top of dad and sell the other plot!  Genius.  I did not make this up; I simply overheard it at Peet’s.  Now, why stop there?  Dig deep.  Really deep.  Uncle Jim and Aunt Yolanda can squeeze in there.  A young, healthy person with a large enough family could start a side business.  So please, if you are out there, struggling in this economy, take heart.  Go to the cemetery.  Pay a visit to grandpa, and let him know company’s comin’!