Things I’m Not Good At

Searching For An Untroubled Plumber

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
[caption id="attachment_2969" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Sink That Started The Frantic Search[/caption] Here's why I need a plumber. Bill's car died and has to be hauled off to a Car Cemetery. Bill tripped over his feet and fell flat with a thud on the patio. I thought the thud was his head, but it turns out it's his elbow which is black and blue. He smarts in many places but the good thing is his back was hurting for 3 months and now that pain is gone. We think the fall gave him an adjustment. The drain in Bill's kitchen sink is plugged up clear to the back wall and we need a plumber. So. Now I am Bill's chauffeur and he has to wash his many dishes in my sink, in my house. However, the body wreckage he's suffered doesn't affect me thank goodness, as I have my own. Our first order is to find a plumber. The car burial can come later. The plumber I always use is not returning my calls. I believe he has run off. My guts say his wife left him. I am sorry about that, but I can't fix him and obviously, he's not emotionally able to drain Bill's sink and clear the pipes. He may be drunk some where, I don't know. Bill gets out the town's yellow pages and begins the hunt for a good plumber. As I am his landlordess, I give him instructions. "Get the Senior Rate. Get a plumber who doesn't charge to come out and look. Ask me before you choose one as I have lived in this town a long time and know a lot of people." Bill doesn't want my instruction. He curls his lips and gets to work. From the other side of the door I hear him drop the yellow pages and turn to his computer. He's making calls in his Studio. These darn walls are way too thin. My brother Jim comes over to nap on my living room couch. (Oh come on now, I haven't time to explain that one. I'm trying to tell you about looking for a plumber.) Bill raps on the door between his studio and my house. He comes into my Great Room and says, "Hi Jim. OK. This guy I called will do the drain for $80 and he's asking questions about the leak in your tub faucet and what else you want done." "Who is he?" I ask. "What does it matter who he is?!" "I may know him," I say. Bill turns and goes into his place and I follow. "It's Dan Donovan Plumbing, if you must know," he says. "Not him!" I yell. "Why?" "I can't remember why. I just know I have a down feeling about it, some memory in the past." Bill snorts. Then, I notice he's on the phone. "Ah..I'll call you back," he says and hangs up. Darn. Why didn't he tell me he was talking to the man? "You can always do this yourself you know!" Bill snarls. He gets all irritated and comes back into my house with the phone book. Jim shouts from the couch, "Who? Dan Donovan!? He ripped me off! He charged me an extra hundred dollars and then left shit everywhere in my place! " "Oh," Bill says as he turns around and goes back into his studio. "Thank you, Jim," I say. Now, we hear Bill on the phone ,again. Then, it's quiet. Bill comes into my place and says, "OK, AAA Plumbing will come out and do the drain for $85." "Who is AAA Plumbing?" I ask. "They're AAA Plumbing! I just said so, why do you care?" "I'm paying for this, I deserve to know who will be doing the work." Jim has been laying on the couch. He jumps to attention. "AAA Plumbing!? That's the Hensley Brother's! You don't want the Hensley Brothers!" Bill turns and goes into his studio. I follow. "Oh my god," I'm screaming, "Not the Hensley Brothers! They are the stupidest men in town!" Bill is on the phone with the Hensley Brothers! I'm sorry the brothers had to hear that they are the stupidest men in town. Bill is now flipping madly through the yellow pages. He's been looking up plumbers online. He's now looking in the town's yellow pages to find AAA Plumbing and cross reference. Sure enough. There it is. It's the same phone number. But, a different name online. The two page spread in our yellow pages says, "Hensley Bros Plumbing, You're Safe With Us!' "Don't you remember them?" I ask. "They came out to replace my garbage disposal and they couldn't figure out how to do it. I had to tell them what to do and I don't know how to replace those things! They both had their heads and torsos under my kitchen sink for half and hour and they had ripped out all my cleaning stuff  and thrown it around the kitchen!" "Oh yeah..." Bill says. "They said they had to go out and get a part and you never saw them, again. And, they never billed you, even for something else they had done. I remember that." "That's right!" My brother says. "They're so dumb they leave their bills on rocks and steps and under their truck and they forget all about them. They do!" Bill is starting to feel a bit less competent. I can tell. But, he again disappears into his room, back to the hunt. I tap on and open his door. He turns from his desk and looks at me. He's not glad to see me. "One more thing" I say. "Don't call any plumber who is pictured with his family in the yellow page ads. Before you moved in here, I had two separate plumbers out to help me. They both had family photos in their ads and they both tried to seduce me. One had me hold the door under the sink open while he was under there and then he grabbed my leg and pinched me!" I turn around and close Bill's door. I think Bill is going to give up, now. You know, I think his stars have been hanging wrong the last few days: Dead car, bad fall, stopped drain and now stupid plumbers with bad morals. If I didn't want my freedom from driving him around and having him wash all his many dishes in my sink, I think I would tell him to relax and let the stars move on before he makes any kind of a move. But, dang...sometimes those stars take their time. I'll just keep letting him search for the right plumber. I tell Jim I want him to nap on the couch as long as he can. He knows all about the town's plumbers and will support me with my advice to Bill. Ummm. "Jim! Do you want to stay for dinner?"  "THE DEAR VENUS SHOW: All Show Times and Ways to Listen *Do you know the kind of work I do when I'm not busy having Adventures?  THIS YEAR is a great time to have a Phone Reading with me!   Visit me at for rates and availability. *Would you like to receive my NEWSLETTER: 'The Juicy News' ? Sign up where you see the Blue Head Phones on the right side of this blog story on the original blog page: *If My True Life (this Blog) gives you a lift, please consider EMAILING it to your friends. You will keep me writing and that is good for my mental health. Better To Get These Weird Things Out Of Mind, Rather Than Keep Them In, right?
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Venus Walks Out Of A Funeral

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
[caption id="attachment_2401" align="aligncenter" width="225"] The Church Where It Happened[/caption] The funeral service  is more than half an hour late. It still hasn't started. I have been sitting in this pew for an hour because I got here early. Unfortunately, I have eaten something that doesn't like me and my guts hurt so much I can barely sit still from the pain. The man next to me is from my old Multilevel/Networking life. I have known him for more than 25 years. He sniffs up the drip from his nose, leans toward me and says, "I am now 83 years old." I tell him that is amazing and that I will never catch up to him. He takes a moment, looks me over, then says, "Ummmm. Give it a few more days." Eeeh gads. No one should be told this at a funeral! I am here to honor a woman friend from my networking days. She'd had a lovely dinner out with family, tripped on a step  while leaving the restaurant and died from the fall when she hit her head. My pain grabs and shakes me. Sitting down makes it worse. When will this funeral start? I have to get through it, somehow. I gaze at the people around me. Most are MLMers. Old ones. The men all look like preachers. Why is this? They have the same Famous TV Preacher Hairstyles; boldly ratted up, combed over, puffed out and hair-sprayed against adversity. They also have the same glad handshakes and hearty laughs while busy being Best Friends to every person they meet.  Each person might be a recruit for their networking business. Ya' never know. I love these people. I was one of them, for years. Finally, the service starts. Eeeh gads, I hope my guts can last. A man plays a slow guitar as we reflect on the deceased. Please God, move this service along. Next, they show a video of my  dead friend. It's re-run three or four times over. A sister of the dead woman comes up and gives a loving talk then collapses in tears on top of the podium. Now, there's trouble with the microphone. Finally, the preacher hops on stage. He has known my friend for 30 years, which is nice as it makes his talk more interesting. God, I hurt. The preacher is extolling my friend's virtues as he says, " And as you know about 'Carol' she never had a kind word to say about anyone." This remark hits the floor suddenly, like a sack of loose potatoes. We know what he meant to say and we all turn our faces up to the preacher like baby birds as we mouth 'un-kind word' as he grabs the verbal ball from us and recovers. This funeral is fun. But, I know I am going to have to leave. I am feeling so sick, I know I have to get up and walk out... but when? I could have done it during the video but I didn't. They didn't turn the lights off. I couldn't walk out while the sister was talking. How un-feeling would that be? And, now the preacher is hoisting his hefty bible and flipping pages. I know what will happen, next. I have been to enough church funerals to know. This particular church is very fundamental and I know what we're going to hear. We've just heard 20 minutes about the deceased and her good deeds. The rest of the service will be devoted to our personal salvation. The party for my friend is over. She will be ignored and forgotten as the preacher is now personally committed to saving our souls, recruiting us for God and that will take another good hour! Oh God. I can't sit still a minute longer. I have to leave. But how? How do you get up in the middle of a funeral as the preacher is talking and walk out on him? What kind of statement is that? Once, my mother went to a funeral for an old man she knew named Mr. Badger. Mr. Badger had no use for religion and often said so. He thought religion was the work of the devil. Too bad for Mr. Badger. When you die you get no say so over your funeral, even if you have left directives. Mr. Badger's wife was very religious and Mr. Badger got a hell fire and damnation service. Mom told us kids that she was sitting in the church, sort of dozing a bit as the preacher stood near Mr. Badger's casket.  He ranted on, she said, about hell, the devil and Mr. Badger. The preacher got so involved in heaven and hell and bringing all the sinners in the audience to the Lord 'before it was too late', that he  banged and slapped his hand several times on the casket. Mom said when that happened she saw Mr. Badger rise up out of the coffin and shout, "What the hell is going on here!?" Mom was startled and looked around her. Surely someone else must see and hear Mr. Badger? But, no, no one seemed to. The rest of the funeral featured the preacher screaming about the audience frying in hell if they didn't repent and Mr. Badger screaming for him to shut up, that he didn't believe in that shit. Mother was shaken when she came home. Why do some preachers turn the deceased's farewell party into a recruiting bonanza? No one dares leave the funeral and the man has a captured audience for as long as he wants. I think it's rude for a church leader to turn his back on the dead and do business. It ain't right. I'm thinking about this as Carol's preacher launches into his topic; that any of us who aren't saved will perish and that we need to reflect on this as we will all be dead like Carol, maybe sooner rather then later. Laid under the ground for the worms to eat. Fodder for maggots. Oh my God. I can't sit for another hour. I haul my heavy purse up from the floor, stuff my sweater in it, stand up, turn and walk the long church aisle and scoot out the door. All eyes are on me. All the people seem to be thinking, "How can she walk out on the preacher! How can she get up and walk out of a funeral! I am mortified. Everyone has their own belief systems and whatever it is, if it works for you, I say it's good. After all, you may be right. I slink out the church door, kind of hunched over from the pain. I'm sweating with embarrassment. Now, I'm safe, sitting in my car, recovering from my audacious move and all the thoughts that followed my abruptly leaving the service. Then, suddenly, in my mind I  think I hear  more than a few people whisper after my departure, "You lucky devil."  Oh well. If those people feel that way but are too decent to leave, they can soldier on with the service and look forward to the meal after it. On my way out, I saw trays of frosted doughnuts, iced cookies, cakes, pies and platters of catered roast beef, quivering jello salads and rich cheeses. I may have given up my chances in the After Life but I will also be missing a good meal. *Would you like to receive my NEWSLETTER; 'The Juicy News" ? Sign up where you see the Blue Head Phones on the right side of this blog story on the original blog page: *If My True Life (this Blog) gives you a lift, please consider EMAILING it to your friends. You will keep me writing and that is good for my mental health. Better To Get These Weird Things Out Of Mind, Rather Than Keep Them In, right? *Do you know the kind of work I do when I'm not busy having Adventures? Look here for details. THIS YEAR is a great time to have a phone reading with me!   Visit me at for rates and availability. *You can also find me on Google+ under venus andrecht.  All lower case.

The Vixen At The Senior Center

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
[caption id="attachment_2334" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Senior Center. Can You Spot The Vixen Who Is 'A Bitch'?[/caption] It's 2:30 PM and I am taking a nap. I am sleeping so hard and deep that I am slobbering on my bed pillow. Here is why I have slung myself across the bed and slammed into sleep in mid-afternoon when I should be working. It's because today I went to lunch at the local Senior Center. Why? Because the lady who took care of my mother when she was ill, is between jobs. "I'm scared," she says. "I need a good Care-Giving job or I won't be able to keep living in your mother's house and I am even having trouble buying food." One of the problems with Care-Giving is that the old people you care for, often die. Then, you 're out of a job. But, guess what. I have a 'Brilliant' Idea. "Let's go to the Senior Center for lunch," I say. "Mom went there and she had friends and I know some of the people. We can talk to folks and tell them how wonderful you are and that you're looking for work. They may know someone who needs your help." Sonja thinks this is a terrific idea. However, she can only go this Friday and that is the day they are having beef tostadas, rice, beans and a kiwi. Ugh. Oh well. I was hoping for a fried chicken day with mashed potatoes and fancy iced cake. "OK," I say. "They have generally great food and it's only $4.00. Let's do it." It is 80 degrees and Sonja wears a pink fluffy coat that pleases her platinum blonde hair. She is from Michigan and it's winter and in winter you wear coats. Sonja is a very pretty woman. The lady at the desk in the Senior Center takes my $4 for Senior Lunch and says to me, "Are you a Senior?" I fall in love with her. I almost want to pay her the extra dollar for the Younger People's Lunch. We survey the room but are directed to a table at the back. The bridge players get the best tables. On our way to our table I introduce Sonja to the Man Who Runs The Place.  I mention that she is looking for a Care-Giver's position. He asks for her card. I whisper, "He knows everyone here. He can get you work." When we get to our table it is our misfortune that we are sitting with a man who yells every word he says and slaps every sentence with a blistering laugh and a holler. I get a headache almost immediately. We introduce ourselves to our table mates and mention that Sonja was my mother's Wonderful Care-Taker and that she is now looking for work. A woman I happen to know at the next table, over hears me and trots to my side. Grabbing the back of my chair, Kelli leans toward Sonja and says, "You'll never get any work here. The Guy Who Runs The Place is having a 'Thing' with Carrie Smith. She gets all the work." Really? "Who is Carrie Smith?" I ask. Kelli hisses and points to a plain, older and stooped lady at another table. She doesn't look like a vixen to me. "She's a Bitch!" Kelli hisses. "She's dumber than a sack of rocks!" Oh wow. Sonja and I get up from the table and get in the soup line. Kelli trails us. "You'll never get any work here," she repeats. "That woman gets it all. She's that man's favorite! She's a Total Bitch! Dumber than a sack of rocks!" Sonja and I finally get back to our table. Kelli ambles off. I pick up my soup spoon. A woman at our table is saying how she wanted to go to the local restaurant by herself for lunch and a woman in her neighborhood told her that people would think if she went alone that she was looking to pick up a man. I say, "Oh! That's just not so. If you're single and you don't go to lunch on your own, you will never go to lunch." The woman who is to my left at the table, launches into something about a couple she knows who are doing wrong and it looks bad, and something needs to be done to stop them. I look at Sonja, lean close and whisper, "What the heck is this place? All these people must be in their 80's at least and some are in their 90's. Doesn't it ever stop?" Kelli comes back and leans over my shoulder. "I'm licensed as an EMT," she says. "But does That Man ever give me any work or credit? No. It's always That Bitch who gets it. One day a man fell out of his chair here and hit the floor. Carrie came over and put a pillow under his head! A pillow! You never put a pillow under their head. I yanked that pillow out and slung it across the room and tipped the man's head back and gave him air." The loud man at our table is still yelling his thoughts, throwing his mouth open wide and showing his teeth full of hamburger particles and gummy, refried beans. My head seriously hurts. My seat neighbor says she is angry that the meal now starts at 11:30 instead of noon. You now get the soup at 11:30 but the real meal doesn't come until noon! Noon! The  Man Who Runs The Center stands and takes a microphone to make announcements. My seat neighbor waves her hand around in the air like it is held up by balloons in a brisk wind. She has something to say about the lunch time change. The man ignores her. "Let's get some coffee," I say to Sonja. We walk to the back of the room and the Man Who Runs The Center sidles up beside us. "Can you talk with me a minute in my office? " he says to Sonja. Of course. "Be friendly and charming," I whisper. I notice that I am whispering a lot, today. I wait for Sonja outside the building. My head is hurting because I can't take the intrigue inside, anymore! I feel like I have been through a high school meat grinder. Now I understand what Mother was talking about when she would come home from the Center with all the stories about her boyfriend of the moment. 'Certain People' didn't like him and kept trying to kick the old fellow off the Lunch Menu Planning List; a job he had held for years. Finally, they did kick him off and it was a major lunch room scandal. When Sonja comes out of the building after speaking to The Man, she says, "Oh my." "What?" I say. "Can The Man give you work?" "He wanted to know," she says, "if I give people baths. I said, 'Well, when I have to, I do.' And, then he asked me, "Do you wash the men, too?" I'm just looking at her. "What the hell was that all about?" she says. "How creepy. Why would he want to know if I bathe men?" Well, gee. I don't know. We can only guess. "I'm utterly drained, " I say. "When I went into this place I was fine. Now, I can barely function. I've been drained of all my fluids. I'm sucked out." Sonja helps me to my car. We sit for a few moments inside the car and we breathe. Then, we leave. We leave, maybe and probably for good. So much for my 'Brilliant Idea." .....This is why I'm now taking  that long, deep, slobbering nap. *If My True Life gives you a lift, please consider EMAILING it to your friends. You will keep me writing and that is good for my mental health. Better To Get These Weird Things Out Of Mind, Rather Than Keep Them In, right? *Do you know the kind of work I do when I'm not busy having Adventures? Look here for details. THIS YEAR is a great time to have a phone reading with me!   Visit me at for rates and availability. *You can also find me on Google+ under venus andrecht.  All lower case.

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