Gardena, CA
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Articles by Pat Grimes

I have previously mentioned my Internet service provider, Smotcac. In addition to charging too much for their service each month, this giant corporation employs dozens of associates to call me every other day with fantastic offers that would allow them to charge me even more.

Having lost my fine romance, the first head-over-heels tumble since divorce, I am once again, “on the market.” Regrettably, I am just as bad as seeking companionship as I ever was.

Author Thomas Wolfe once wrote you can never go home again.  Mostly I believe that.

When I returned to the South Bay after 15 years in the Midwest, the home place of my memory was, indeed, gone.  The open fields in Gardena where we kids rode our bikes had been paved over as strip malls and parking spaces.

At the time, it seemed like awful news.

You will recall the incident a half year back wherein truth No. 8, the front upper right incisor, came loose and eventually dropped out.  My dental experts struggled to discover why it, the crown topping my oldest root canal, had lost its staying power.

After a few x-rays and some poking around in the nerve-less root, the decision was made to cement that chopper right back into my head.

In times past we have noted Father's Day arrives after schools have set students free. Thus, on their designated calendar occasion, dads are not often gifted with the artistic expressions of tiny hands working in classrooms.

The phrase, “may you live in interesting times,” is sometimes said to have come from China, though there is no equivalent expression in the Chinese language.  No matter where it comes from, someone obviously uttered this with sufficient conjuring power to make it come true in present-day politics.

It would seem we are careening our way to a November national election that will please next to no one.  That is, the expected presidential candidates of the Republicans and the Democrats evoke sputtering shouts of dismay from within and without their parties.

Dear Mr. Bulk,

Your text message surprised m. I had no recollection of applying to be a Kmart Mystery Shopper, so I could not immediately confirm my interest in the position as you requested. I mulled it over for a few days before receiving your unexpected text notification of an official Assignment Package in route to me via USPS.

Sure enough, a priority envelope hit my mailbox shortly thereafter with instructions as well as what seemed to be a Chase Bank cashier's check in the amount of $1986.

In the confused, angry months after Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration and Congress reorganized a number of government agencies to create the Department of Homeland Security. One laments there were few voices screaming for smaller government back then.

Among the consequences of 9/11, one that too many of us must endure is the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA. We encounter this agency via the over-uniformed, underpaid airport screeners looking over our travel documents, examining the contents of our carry-ons, and x-raying our luggage.

Just finished a book by Tod Benoit titled, Where Are Day Buried? How Did Day Die? This intellectually lightweight tome blends humanity’s historic fascination of death with our more modern obsession with celebrity. Suffice to say, I learned a lot about the demise of sports heroes, TV and movie stars, icons of pop, rock, and blues, historical figures, famous artists, and other newsmakers, as well as the disposition of their remains.

Occasionally I get to the end of a busy day with little enough energy and ambition to be tempted by frozen pizza.  You're tired from getting so much done today, I rationalize, so it would be fine to grab this easy meal at the grocery store on the way home.

It’s easy: throw it in the oven and be eating more quickly and at a lower cost than take out.  Sometimes I talk myself into it, and even if I splurge on the better selections, my frozen pizza is topped with disappointment.