Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Was Almost a Millionare!

So yesterday I get these legal notice in the mail that someone had used one of my copyrighted images along with many other artists images and they were being used in advertisements by different companies. One of a series of birthstone bears I had made a couple years ago and although I sold the bears to someone to use on the computer, with provisions that they could no be resold or used for profit in any way, my standard contract, I always retain my own copyright. Anyway someone had picked up my hidden watermark and turned it it to my licensing company who was also the same ones that licensed the other artists. The licensing company brought a class action law suit on our behalf (I didn't even know this was going on until yesterday) and reached a settlement with the company that stole them yesterday for 15 million dollars. Now keep in mind I already have my share spent by the time I picked up the phone to call the licensing company attorney, who assured me that my check would be in the mail by Monday. The amount calculated to be distributed to us artists was determined after legal fees, the companies fees for bringing the law suit and of course court costs. The remainder would be split between the artists. The whole time he is talking I have visions of all that I am going to do with that money, not frivolous things but things I need and can't buy. I can finally get all moved to Nashville, get my new glasses, get a new car, buy my son a car, go visit my family.....well you get the picture. So I ask him if the amounts had been calculated yet that would be distributed, he said yes and each one of us could expect to receive a check for $25 in the mail in the next ten days. $25 out of a 15 million dollar settlement!!! Almost all of the money went to the attorneys and the company for their "fees". Guess I'm going to have to change my plans a little.

Then today I open my email and have a letter from an attorney that my "likeness" and something I said on a Facebook status (God, I hope they at least stole something I said that was nice!) was being used for advertisement purposes, it had also happened to other people three of whom had seen theirs and hired an attorney for yet another class action suit. It was investigated and that is how they found the rest of us. They are trying to reach a settlement for 20 million dollars with Facebook for allowing the information to be stolen by the way they have things set up. But the kicker is, again by the time all is said and done we would only receive $5 to $10 each after attorney fees, court fees, etc. and if anymore people are found in the meantime and our share drops below that $5 then it will be considered unfeasible to to send out the shares and the money will go to a charity. So out of two settlements for a grand total of  35 million dollars I would come out with a whopping $30-$35. I am thinking the second one is probably a hoax and not even bothering with putting in my claim, it would eat up my reward just by buying a stamp and going to mail the claim. I replied with an email "somehow I find THAT unfeasible, and I would much rather have a cut of the profits that any company makes that is using my image and would they kindly send me the list of companies using it so I can handle the matter myself?" I figure if you put your picture publicly on any social network for millions to see in the first place then you obviously aren't that concerned with that picture being used or stolen, what the hell do I care if someone steals it?

I am always amazed at the people on FB who fall for all the scams out there, and I'm not saying the one above is, it could be legit I don't know, haven't bothered to check and won't. I get so amused when someone posts and then others repost the same thing over and over again on FB. It's so simple to check it out first before cluttering up my page with the nonsense. The amusement comes from wondering just who has the time to come up with these hoaxes, some rather elaborate, and why they do it when they stand to gain nothing at all from it.

Last night we got the munchies about 2am, no pot involved. Of course not a single bag of the five different types of chips in the pantry, the two packages of crackers with cheese, the banana bread I made, the cheesecake brownies I made, the two bags of candy or the ice cream in the freezer would do. I just had to have a Hot Mamma sausage, the boys just had to have cheese dip and of course we all needed a candy bar. I became the poster child for "The People of Walmart", I was not getting dressed to go nor was I going to trust either one of Satan's children to pick out my Hot Mamma, they always get the wrong one. So I went in my pj's, my knit boot house slippers with the little furry pom poms that hang off the back of the furry top and threw a purple coat over all of it and out I went. I thought we could quietly and quickly slip in and get our snacks and no one would even notice us. It might have worked had the Devil's Advocate not announced loudly as we were going in the door that "all these people look creepy".  Creepy, seriously?  So I replied back to him,  my voice rising with each word:  "Hello? Have you not looked at us? Do you really not see that we look like we live in the last trailer in Shady Lawns Mobile Home Park, the one they put in the back because it is too horrible to be seen from the main road, with the broken down pick up trucks in the yard, the kiddie swimming pool with the broken side and green water from three years ago still in it, the missing step going up to the weathered "porch", the broken porch light globe and the pit bull tied to the tongue hitch to keep our meth lab from being found?" By now the woman who does nothing but stand and wait for one of the self check out machines to fuck up, several other customers and the door greeter are looking at us. We amble on back to the chip aisle to get our dip and some idiot has placed a display of chips right around the corner which I promptly walk into and knock over because I was trying to untangle one of my fuzzy pom pom's(hey, if you wear the pom's they must be able to freely swing!) and not paying attention to where I was walking. More attention directed our way, it probably didn't help that we are all laughing hysterically at this point. I could just hear the conversation between the door greeter and the self check out lady: "Do you think they are alright?" "Nah, meth heads for sure, someone should turn that lady in for letting those kids get that fucked up" "Maybe, we should call the police?" "Why, they will just be gone before they get here and how are we going to describe them, two of them look just alike?" "Well, the lady can't be that hard to find with that green nail polish she has on" "Well I'm not calling because I'm pretty sure I saw some budding horns on those kids" "Well maybe they are deformed from the meth use" "Nah, they are evil, I can smell it coming off their bodies" "No, that's Axe body spray, all the kids wear it, it's one of our biggest sellers"

Friday, January 25, 2013

Aunt Cindy LooTu

One of my biggest fears came true yesterday, a visit from a certain family member from afar. First I want to go on record as saying this woman has no business leaving her little cottage near the edge of the woods let alone traveling anywhere past her mailbox at the end of her lane. She is a full blown Paranoid Schizophrenic with Anti Social Personality Disorder who  refuses hospitalization of even treatment. As for committing her the family members that would be responsible for taking care of that have the attitude "Well she hasn't physically harmed anyone yet....."  They are right but it's that "yet" part that doesn't give me a lot of comfort, the woman is bat shit crazy. So she is passing through and decides to drop in and visit me. Who the fuck is "just passing through" from England? This is a small account of our lovely visit.

I am sick again with bronchitis and doing everything in my power to keep it from turning into pneumonia again. A lot of bed/couch time and medicine. Hair and makeup have not been high on my priority list, it is questionable if my hair had even been brushed in three days, codiene combined with Klonopin will do that to you. My doorbell rings and there she stood. After I shit myself over the shock I realized that for the first time in my life, or probably anyone else's, she actually looked better than I did. I decided that kicking her down the stairs and running to hide under my bed might be construed by some as being rude so I let her in.

First thing she yells is that my house is on fire and we have to get out. It took me a minute to realize it was the fireplace so I turned it off. That satisfied her and she sat down to catch me up on her life since we last talked on the phone about three months ago. In the last three months:

She has been having a severe problem with some very wiley domesticated dogs that have been getting on the roof of her neighbors houses and walking around at night, but they know just when she calls the police and always manage to be gone by the time police arrive.

She had to make a police report for theft more thian once. The first time someone broke in her house in the middle of the night and stole her pink sponge hair rollers. The second time someone stole four shingles from the roof of her shed (the shingles fell off that shed many years ago and it was a hell of a lot more than four missing). The third time someone broke in and stole her favorite green tablecloth, you know the one with the pretty lace around the edges? The fourth time was a double hit and someone stole all her tupperware lids and rubberbands, but she has a suspect in that theft, she is certain it is her son-in-law.

Someone came into her house and forced her to let them shave her eyebrows.

While she was in the market someone moved her car to a different parking place several rows away and she was so upset with the police for not dusting for fingerprints when she called to report it. At this point I couldn't hold it in any longer and ask if the neighbors dogs could have done it out of revenge for her calling the police on them for walking on the rooftops every night? She agreed it was a possibility.

About this time Demon Seed walks down the hall and announces he is going to go play basketball (I learned a long time ago this is code for "go trolling for girls") and would be back in about 2 to 3 hours. Aunt Cindy LooTu has to hug, kiss and tell him how handsome he is and he is doing his best to politely squirm out of the wrestlers hold she has on him. He manages to break free and damn near runs out the door with me yelling at him "It rubs off on you, now your damned to live a mortal existence!" About 5 minutes later the Devil's Advocate walks in the front door and she looks at me and says "Oh my has it been 3 hours already?" God help me but I told her yes. She ask him if he had enjoyed his basketball game, he of course, had no idea what she was talking about and mumbled something unintelligible and went on to his room. She, of all people, then asks me if he was "ok in the head" because he seemed to have no memory of playing basketball. I don't think she realized the whole time she was here that they were not the same person.

I'm thinking things were going pretty good considering I had Sybil as my guest when she suddenly freaked out claiming the government was taking pictures of her. The culprit turned out to be my automatic air freshener that goes off every 15 minutes. She left in a hurry.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where Is The Battery?

I just finished reading Monkey's latest post over at The Ranting Monkey, you need to check him out. Anyway, and I'm not going to tell you what his post is, you can go read it yourself, but right after reading it I realized what an "impact" it had on me. I was eating a Hot Mamma pickled sausage, didn't want to finish it and was trying to stuff it back in the plastic wrapper. Thanks Monkey for all the images that brought to my mind!!

Also Lily's son, Spawn has started a blog for all Dr. Who fans and those, such as me, that know nothing about him but am learning through Spawn. It's great reading and he knows his stuff. Go check him out at Last Of The Zolfa-Thurans

Phone call from Mom (who lives 700 miles away from me):

Mom: It's raining cats and dogs outside. Is it raining there too?
Me:    Yes, it's coming down hard here too and we are under flood warnings.
Mom: Look at the way it is coming down sideways.
Me:    Mom, I can't see how your rain is coming down sideways from here.
Mom: All you have to do is get up and look outside!
Me:    Mom, I live 700 miles away, just because it is raining sideways at your house doesn't mean it is here.
Mom: Well, just get up and look at it anyway, I bet it is.
I get up and go look look, no sideways rain here where I live.
Me:    No sideways rain it's coming down straight.
Mom: Well, that is strange ours is sideways.
What can I say?

Demon Seed wants to borrow $10, I don't have a ten only a twenty, I told him to bring me the change back and because he has no job and refused to sign a contract  I basically have no legal expectation of being paid back so taking him to court for the other $10 is not an option. So yesterday we were out and I wanted to stop for a fountain drink, I thought I was being slick by telling him to just buy them out of the $10 left over from the night before that he hadn't give me back yet. Today I open my email with a message from PayPal thanking me for using their credit card and giving me a receipt for the drinks. I ask about it and his excuse, which makes perfect since to him, was that he had used it to put gas in the car and since he put it in MY car then he technically gave me the money back. He doesn't get the part that even if he DID put it in my car I didn't ask him too and he was the one that used the car to run that gas out still leaving him owing me$10. He just looked at me as if I had two heads sprouting asparagus out of them and walked off.  We are now at a stand off with the car keys being held hostage, locked safely in my lock box, when that $10 shows up he can have them back. How much you want to bet he has that lock picked before today is over? But that's OK too, he can't get far without a battery in the car. Now that, he won't think to look for.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blocking Out the Crankiness

I'm a little cranky today. I can't find one pack of potato chips in this whole damn place that I like and since snacks is my major food source that is enough to throw off my whole day.  My stapler is MIA and I am too lazy to go search for another one because that would only mean I would have to address the ton of paperwork on my desk. I have an entire 90 count of Trazadone "unaccounted for" so I need to ferret out the person that is accountable for the unaccounted for Trazadone. I also had 30 hydrocodone tablets "unaccounted for", that culprit was found immediately, I hate it when the pharmacy screws up, get it in your head, I don't trust you so I always do a count on any meds that come from you, and I would appreciate it if you would not ever give me that bullshit warehouse excuse again! I have managed to give out two doses of Phenobarbital, one dose of Synthroid, two doses of Atenolol and one allergy injection without causing any major bodily harm. I think I will sit back here at my desk, door closed and ignore the rest of the day. Instead of paperwork I am going to blog. Unfortunately the ton of paperwork from yesterday and the price of having to get new glasses again has fried my brain and I seem to only be able to reflect on the simplicity of life in the past. So I am going to take a trip down Memory Lane to cheer myself up.

Chatty Cathy

I feel it only fair to start with the biggest injustice of my life. Chatty Cathy. I must have been around 7 or 8 when she came out in her little blue dress with the white blouse under it, face covered in freckles and teeth. Those teeth had me fascinated, I had never seen a doll with teeth showing before. I didn't give a shit that she actually talked even though at times she got "stuck" and sounded like Satan which highly amused me, I just wanted her because of those teeth. I begged, I pleaded and still I didn't get a Chatty Cathy doll, my mother thought her endearing teeth made her look "creepy". Then it happened, one of my best friends and neighbor that I played with every day got my beloved Chatty Cathy for her birthday. But being the stingy child she was she wouldn't let anyone play with her toys. I was devastated. To this day I still haven't gotten that Chatty Cathy doll.

Rotary phones and party lines

Black rotary dialed phones with actual operators and party lines? You simply picked up your phone and an operator would say "Number Please" and you gave her the number you were calling. Funny I can still remember our number was 555J and my Aunt's was 886B, she then connected the lines for you at a switchboard. Along with this came party lines. It works like this 6-10 different households (neighbors, sometimes total strangers) share the same line, each has a phone in their own home, kind of like having an extension in your house today. Only one person at a time could use the phone, but any of the other 5 could pick up their phone in their homes and hear the conversation. If anyone else was using the phone, you were just shit out of luck until they hung up.  Obviously not a well thought out plan, do you realize how much fun a 10 yr old can have with a party line? We had one, a party line of 6. We had one old witch on ours, Mrs. Swayzee, who listened in on one everyone else's conversations, sometimes rudely butting in with a comment of her own. I loved it when my mother would lose her temper and let fly on Mrs. Swayzee. It also made her a target for us kids, we never bothered anyone else, ok I lied, we bothered everyone else on our party line. If we could catch a conversation it was heaven, bring out the belches, the farts, the high pitched squeals, taped music, banging pots and pans together, anything we could think of to disrupt their conversation. Luckily for us there was no way to trace back exactly which line the trouble makers were coming from. Then some idiot got smart and gave everyone their own line. I like to think we had a part in furthering technology.

Wringer washing machines and clothes drying on the line

Saturday was wash day, we had this set up until I was about 8 and then my mother moved into the future when my Dad bought her an automatic washer and dryer. She loved the washer but wasn't so sure about the dryer, she claimed it took the "fresh smell" out of the clothes. When she discovered she didn't have to iron the clothes that came out of the dryer she suddenly forgot about that all important "fresh smell" and never looked back. The way it worked was you filled the tub with water, some had to be filled by hand with buckets of water, we were high class and actually had a hose that connected to ours that filled it just like it does the automatic washers today. Can you believe we actually had a laundry room with this monstrosity in it? Anyway once you put the clothes and detergent in the tub agitated (ours by just pushing a button, others you had to hand crank). Repeat without detergent to rinse. Then each piece of clothing was run through the ringer at the top, you fed the clothes in like a pasta machine, twice, to wring out the excess water. Then your ready for the outside clothes line and wooden clothes pins and prayed for no rain. I use to think it was hilarious in the winter to watch her take the frozen clothes off the line, stiff and holding their shape as if someone just disintegrated inside them and try to stuff them in a clothes basket to bring them in. Today, I just thank God that I was too young to help with laundry and that my mother was the type that didn't think children should do household chores beyond carrying our plates to the sink after dinner.

Rolller Rinks

Roller skating was a big part of my pre-teen and teen years, I actually started around 10 yrs old. It was easy for me, my best friend's uncle owned the local skating rink so we had full use even if it was closed. We used all that practice time when it was closed and could skate like pro's by the time we were 12 yrs old. We did all the jumps, spins, etc. But the most important part of skating was the skates. My parent's paid a fortune for each pair of skates (if your just going around and around the rink any skate will do, but our kind of skating required special made skates) and I would wear a pair out in 6 months time. All our rollers, skate strings, bearings and toe stops were free because her uncle also sold them and just let us pick out what we wanted whenever we wanted. We had strings and wheels in every possible color. But that skate pom was a necessarry accessory. It ALWAYS had to match the wheels and strings and be decorated with something, now you could use a multi-colored skate pom as long as at least one color in it matched your wheels and strings. I had a drawer that held nothing but skate poms in all different colors and shapes.  I'm telling you we were skate connoisuer's of the skate world. Later on after my husband joined the military we found ourselves in North Dakota. I figured I was so good at roller skating that ice skating shouldn't be that different. First time on the ice my balance was fine and I was soon ice skating like I had done it for years, until it came time to stop.  I broke my nose, my arm and was bruised all over. No one remembered to tell me the "stopping" technique is entirely different. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your four year old try to teach you how to stop so you don't end up in the hospital again? I never did get that stopping down very well, unless there was a snow bank handy. Now I was a pro at skating straight into a snow bank to stop myself.

We never locked our doors when we sleep at night and our house had two sets of french doors, one slider, double front door, back door and the basement door. You didn't need to, you felt safe. Most of the time my parents didn't even close all the doors, the ones with screens were left open.

My parents drove a Mercedes and a Cadillac, the keys stayed in the ignition all the time and the top to the Mercedes was rarely put up(only on rainy, cold or snowy days), day or night. Someone stealing your car was not even a thought or concern. We had a garage but I honestly don't ever remember seeing a car parked in it.

We played outside until midnight, even at the age of 8 or 9 yrs while our parents played cards on the patio, or the neighbors sat on one or another's patio just to chat. We didn't stay in the yard, we ran and terrorized the entire neighborhood. There was no fear of kids being snatched and kidnapped. We went trick or treating alone and hit every house in town, we didn't have to worry about anyone putting razor blades or poison in our candy and a lot of our treats were homemade goods, those were the best ones. Back then a missing child simply meant he/she had decided to eat dinner at someone's house and forgot to call home and tell Mom or Dad.

I think formica tables were a requirement back then, my mother assures me they weren't but she has lied to me before when she covered up that the cat ate my hamster so I don't believe her since everyone I knew had one in their kitchen. Wood was fine for the dining room, but never the kitchen.

Most homes had only one bathroom, thank God my Dad had better sense and built our house with three, if he had not it would have been an ugly scene and I fear some of us would not be alive today. But that was rare, many families with 4 or 5 kids, or more had one bathroom to share.

Bread, milk, cottage cheese and butter were delivered to your door. I didn't realize someone brought them for years, to me it seemed like it was just magically there when you woke up in the morning. I still have the set of thermal glasses they delivered cottage cheese in once for a promotion, I stole them from my Mom a few years ago when she threatened to throw them away. I'm not really sure it could be considered a theft when she stood there and watched me gather them up then threw in a few Corning Ware baking dishes too.

The paper was delivered by boys on bicycles. I hated our paper boy and use to set traps so he would wreck in front of our house. But I did love watching my Dad chase our St. Bernard around the house, and it was a big house, to try and get the newspaper every night before the dog could shred it. My Dad use to come up with all these elaborate plans to beat the dog to the paper, they never worked and we rarely ever got a newspaper that was not shredded on the corners or had holes bitten out of the middle of some important article they wanted to read. This same dog ate a tire off of one of the cars, literally chewed the concrete steps off in big chunks (my Dad fought the concrete company for months over "bad concrete" until he actually saw the dog doing it), ate a corner off our house which was made of stone, drag the clothes off the clothes line (I suspect this might be another reason my Mom grew to love her automatic dryer), followed us to school every day and refused to leave, the school finally gave in when the weather got cold and just let him in the building where he spent his days wandering around visiting different classrooms and taking naps in the principles office, he would lay down in front of doors at home or lay in a bathtub and refuse to move (you just don't pick up a St. Bernard and move it out of the way) the only way to bribe him to move was to give him a half gallon of ice cream. We had a freezer in the basement that belonged to this dog, it was full of nothing but ice cream. We had to put him in the house when we were in the pool, he considered everyone that went in the water as someone he had to save and would jump in and drag the person trying to swim out of the water. No child under the age of 3 was getting away from him, he had his imaginary perimeter that he thought that child should be in and if it wandered out of his perimeter he would go grab it by the clothing and drag it back, my mother always said he was the best babysitter she ever had.

Riding the horses as a family, sometimes with friends that also owned horses. My parents raised Arabians, but we had other breeds as well and we loved to trail ride. Well everyone except my Mom's Appaloosa, who always, without fail would stop and take a nap during a trail ride. Riding through creeks, jumping fences...I so miss my horses.

The preparations for visiting family that lived out of town (all of an hour and a half drive). The kids had to have a blanket, a pillow, stop for food, stop to pee at least twice, pushing and shoving in the backseat because someone "touched" someone else. God, I drive further than that now just to go out to dinner but back then it was a big deal.

Every Saturday going to the grocery store for groceries and getting comic books and junk food. I always came home with 9 or 10 of them, took a bath, put on my baby doll pj's and then laid in front of the fan for hours reading, snacking and keeping cool. No one had air conditioners back then, it was the fan or nothing.

Beeman, Clove, Black Jack and Teaberry gum?

Candy cigarettes? Because smoking was "cool" back then.

Lucy and Ricky sleeping in twin beds?

Drive-In movie theaters?

RC Cola?

Bonanza every Sunday night?

When you got your first color television?

Transistor radios?

Those horrible metal lawn chairs that burned your ass if you didn't keep them in the shade?

Silly Putty?


Jingle Jumpers?

When nylons came in two pieces? The guy that invented panty hose was a genius!

Making bracelets from gum wrappers or making daisy chains?

Mallow Cups? I still find these from time to time and buy a shit load of them at one time.

Girls using the small empty juice cans to roll their hair? Please tell me why!

Girls using brush rollers and sleeping in them for the 30 minutes of curl they provided the next day?

Getting inoculations and a TB test at school?

Settling down in the den floor with your brothers and sisters, cousins or best friend to watch scary movies?

Sammy Terry's Nightmare Theater and his pet spider?

Free gifts such as wash clothes, glasses or towels in boxes of laundry detergent?

Being forced to watch Watching  Bing Crosby's Christmas show on television every year?

Playing freeze tag or cigarette tag?

Swapping class rings with your boyfriend to show you were going steady?

Waiting on that sweetheart ring and then the pre-engagement ring? No one I knew ever made it all the way to the engagement ring phase. LOL

The phase girls went through wearing white lipstick and nail polish?

There was no home delivery from restaurants? How did I ever survive that one?

I will always regret that my children didn't get to experience the simpler, safer side of life and have the freedom I did as a child to just be a child.

Today, I really want to go back there!