Browsing "parents"
Oct 10, 2010 - Getting old and stuff, parents, Wisconsin    Comments Off

JC Penny broke my mom’s heart!

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jcpenny logo

For 35 years my 80 year old Mom has been a devoted shopper at the JC Penny Outlet store on Silver Spring Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

They announced that they are closing soon and are having a “Closing Sale”. My Mom said “It just breaks my heart”–which breaks my heart to hear.

My personal taste is not JC Penny, and the outlet store is a collection of left over crap, factory seconds and polyester knockoffs–but to my Mombo the Outlet Center was a haven of low prices and ultra-returnability she could count on. The company is hurting, apparently. JC Penny closed their catalog distribution center in Milwaukee in 2002, and are planning to close their JCP Logistics branch along with the outlet center December 2010. They tried to get back on the fashion radar by opening a new store in New York City–but what about the midwest heartland that built their business, starting with James Cash Penny in 1902 Missouri?

As my ultra-conservative, Republican-faithful mom said today, “What’s wrong with Milwaukee that all the department stores are leaving?”

Sep 27, 2010 - arts and crafts, Blue Dog, parents    Comments Off

The Stolen Bench Part 2: How Art affects our lives long-term

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A painted bench was stolen in 2006. Four years layer, the motif was revived and recreated

mondrian bulletin board
In the first part of this story, I told how a painted bench had been stolen. Four years later, I am still sucking the sore tooth of that indignity, crying to the Gods for the loss of the the bench that got away.

Today, I’ve left the homeless life. I packed my ego away with my out-of-season clothes and moved in with my 80+ parents in Milwaukee. Mom and I were in a Goodwill and she suggested I buy a cork bulletin board for 99 cents. Truly, Mom doesn’t really suggest things—she made it clear that she didn’t like the cork squares I had glued to the wall of my office, and wanted me to replace them with a less wall-intensive substitute. So I did.

At home I saw I had bought a cheap pine-framed cork bulletin board, which was OK, but lacked any kick-ass. I started thinking about the stolen bench—It began to tease and squeeze, knocked me to my knees—and I got another idea.

mondrian bulletin boardPaint the damn thing. I looked up my old Photoshop designs for the unfortunate Piet Mondrian Bench. Two coasts of primer, which soaked into the cork, three coats of acrylic color, electrician’s tape for the black lines, and a final coat of polyurethane. It took a week, because the paint had to dry in between, but it came out nice—And I am strangely vindicated. Mondrian

Living with your parents: Number 296.1

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babsWhy is my 84 year old dad watching “Funny Girl”?

. . . and why is People stuck in my head?

I don’t usually mind having a song stuck in my head, especially if it’s a song that I know all the words to. If I don’t know the words, it just skips in my internal soundtrack like an LP record without a penny on the arm. “People who need people are the loneliest . . . er, luckiest (?) people” — oh rats.

Mom’s out of town and Dad has the remote to himself — so WHY is he watching Barbra Streisand all alone in the living room?

10 reasons why I’m lovin’ living with my aging parents

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Your mileage may vary

  1. Bathroom safety bars are already installed
  2. Your share of the rent is negligible because the mortgage is paid off
  3. They admire you for knowing how to work all the remote controls
  4. Dad does all of your laundry. “Hey, I ain’t doin’ anything else. I might as well do my share.”
  5. Mombo is in bed by 6:30. Dad stays up ’til eight thirty
  6. You can use their car mostly anytime, as long as you drive them to the doctors, WallMart, or Pik N Save
  7. Somebody’s always home to answer the door.
  8. When you fall off your knee walker in the garden, there’s someone to root you on as you struggle to your feet.
  9. The freezer’s always full
  10. There’s always pie!