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Houston, We Have a Problem

I found out Whitney Houston died because a Facebook friend announced it in his status. I found out that Michael Jackson died the same way and had the same reaction. “What?!”  With Whitney, I saw a sentiment on Facebook and Twitter – all saying the same thing – WHAT A WASTE. 

I was very sad  that she died yesterday. She was only 48 and had so much talent that was ruined due to the abuse she put on her body. I was mostly disappointed that she lost her voice, which contributed to her losing her life. 

I can easily remember listening to her when she first broke out in the business, back in the 80s.  She exuded innocence and had this amazing voice, full of soul and beautiful high notes. I wasn’t a big fan of the dance songs but the lyrics of her slow songs were so wonderful and she told each story so well when she sang them. 

It’s unfortunate when people lose their way.  It’s a gift when people bounce back into balance.  However with celebrities, these days, it seems so rare that it actually happens.  Look at Demi Moore, what is happening with her now?! Will Dr. Deepak Chopra be able to help her?

The pressure of fame and losing the gifts one once had must be excruciating.  After she hit her prime, she went down a tainted path.  Despite that, she was an amazing singer and that is how I will remember Whitney Houston and thank her for sharing her voice that was taken way too soon.

My Favorite French Tenor

I went to high school on Chicago’s North Shore with Matt Polenzani.  He is a tenor, from New York, who just wrapped up a starring role in “The Tales of Hoffmann” at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.  As part of the promotion for that opera, he sang the National Anthem at the Bears-Packer game in late September. 

If you are looking to understand what this opera is about, here is a great interpretation.  If you are looking for great photos of the opera, take a look here

I have been to only one other opera. However, I grew up going to musicals with my mom, once a year, on my birthday. I would then buy the sheet music and learn the songs on the piano. 

Last night, with opera glasses in hand, and my mom and my “Auntie Val”,  we went to see his final performance. 

As I was fidgeting with my opera binoculars, I heard “that voice”.  I zoomed in on my former classmate from way back when and he took over the stage with a powerful and beautiful voice backed up with evident passion and drama. His eyes, even from Row J in the second upper balcony, showed his vulnerability and commitment to his role. Read the rest of this entry

You Say By & I Say Hi!

If you are looking for warm and fuzzy in tonight’s post, move along!  The feisty ranter has returned and she has words!!! First of all, you rain storms can chillax.  Oh, how I used to love the tranquility of a rain storm.  I am done with Mother Nature weeping all over us and killing trees, taking our power and flooding people’s homes.  ENOUGH!!!! But, I digress. 

Friendships or relationships are the glue that keep us all connected. The helium in our egos!  The impromptu laugh during our blue moment, a thoughtful email when one least expects it;  and the hope when we feel like we are vexed! At times, I am overwhelmed by people in my life with how wonderfully they handle issues as they arise and can’t say thank you enough.  This is where the fuzzy feeling ends! Read the rest of this entry

Perfume Spritzes, Loud Ipods, and a Ride Home

Hot off the Funny Bone press, he said something funny, again! Yes!  The witty stars are aligning again.  PHEW!

I had an awesome time frolicking with my adorable niece and nephew this past week!  I took the week off to prepare for my new job that I start on Monday. 

I flew home yesterday and I have to say that is a great opportunity to people watch.  What struck me is how shocking people’s behavior can be during a flight. I understand.  The thought of being  trapped in a plane, in the air, with strangers all around is unappealing. Add the general stress level of traveling and the fact that one is usually tired, it’s a recipe for poor behavior.

The most memorable moment was from a person sitting in an aisle seat.  

  • She seemed “put out” that someone had to sit in the middle seat next to her and wouldn’t get up. Finally, she slid her legs all the way to one side so he could “jump” over to his spot.  
  • She took out her mini computer and started tweeting up a storm. Finally, the flight attendant had to insist that she put that away and she moved on to her ipod and put it on the highest volume possible.
  • The guy next to her had to use the restroom, so he “jumped” past her to the aisle a couple of times. The first time was troubling for her and the second time she started reaching out to me for sympathy.  I tried to avoid eye contact but couldn’t help looking at what her reaction was each time her neighbor moved.
  • The second time he asked to use the restroom, she whipped out her perfume bottle and sprayed the whole area!  My eyes popped out of my head form the strong smell. She apologized and said something like, “Can’t that guy wear a diaper?”
  • Perfectly timed, a baby in back started crying at full force and the perturbed flyer said, “This is too much!”
  • Keep in mind, beside her mean glares, we are all dealing with an unwanted concert from her ipod.
  • The plane lands safely and she jumped out of her seat, knocking everyone in her path so she could get off first!

Again, I understand the stress level of flying but her behavior, although amusing, was not appropriate. It’s amazing how some people are oblivious to how they are impacting other people with their rudeness. It seems to me that blasting one’s ipod and giving passengers a perfume bath in an enclosed space, is far more offensive than asking for the privilege to sit in one’s seat and use the restroom a couple of times.

Grocery Shopping with Groucho

I’m the Customer, You Give Me What I Want!

Last night, I dashed out to Jewel to pick up a few things. As I waited to check out, my ears perked up because an angry older man was ahead of me reaming out the check out lady because of  a recent story that hit the press regarding the possible elimination of double bags.

She patiently waited for his attack on her company to end so she could politely point out the facts.  He didn’t give her a chance and continued going off on her.  You know he felt good doing this  because he is the customer and the “customer is alway right” but I thought it was incredibly obnoxious.

If you want to make your point, do so with brevity, there is no need to go on for ten minutes and say the same thing ten different ways.  Oh, and Groucho made a great exit.  He couldn’t figure out how to put his credit card in the slot.  So, suddenly he softened and asked for help.

Is it so hard to bring your own bags when you go grocery shopping these days?  That poor check out lady was so flustered that she double charged me for my items and she looked like she was going to cry.  I have been yelled at like that before, by customers, I know it can take a bit to recover. The right thing to do is laugh it off and view the exchange as entertainment but sometimes it is hard to shake it off.

I believe that many customers take advantage of the motto that the “customer is always right.”  You should be respectful with your customers, that is correct.  However, customers have accountability, too, and should behave. If employees are being treated well by the employer, customer service would not be an issue. The secure and happy employees would treat customers well – out of habit.

Empathy would be a good thing from both sides.  Besides, there is so much stress in the world right now. Yelling about a double bag seems like a waste of energy given the bigger issues going on…

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