Archive for the Schemes Category

[I, Petunia] Not for sale; Decency

Posted in Communication, Confusion, Fellow Human Beings, Honesty, I Petunia, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Life Performance Art, Literary, Love Thy Fellow Man, MANNERS, Narcissisim, Petunia, Philosophy?, Regretful Human Behavior, Schemes, The meaning of life with tags on July 19, 2013 by Admin

A work of fiction, by Petunia Jablonsky, to be presented in serial format, a few sentences or paragraphs whenever… our attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.

I, Petunia, am not angry. I no longer feel anger, at anything; I am angered out and logic has prevailed. I am flattered in some cases and proud in others. The common denominator of what I, Petunia, feel is pity. I am absolutely content. I always survive. I have me to thank for being that smart, that logical, that strong, and I am that grateful for these gifts such that all I can muster is pity.

They say we teach others how to treat us, that we seek that is what is most familiar, that the first 3 months of a person’s life are the most important in terms of early childhood development, that we make our beds. I, Petunia, believe all of this. I believe I am the common denominator of all interactions i have in life and thus I merit some responsibility for my part in them. I did not choose my adoptive family but I did choose my partners in life and I taught them how to treat me. Once I realized this I set about changing. I’d always been working toward change, struggling to evolve, but it often seemed like shoveling against the tide. Sometimes if you cannot beat the mouse infestation you need to burn down the barn. My barn was burned down when I was robbed, emotionally beaten, and left for dead. It took a complete breakdown to rebuild where effecting change was unsuccessful. Thus, I would not change a thing that has ever happened to me and with me, because it is how I got here — to complete contentment, however modest.

“She always had her hand out”, explained my ex-brother regarding my years-long absence to one of our relatives in the state to the north, who listened and nodded, filing this tidbit away so as to tell me later.

greedIt was an absolute and absurd lie as he, the ex-brother, the “martyr”, had schemed and plotted over a decade or so to steal my inheritance because, as he’d reminded our entire family ad nauseum since the day he arrived as an inexplicably grasping, greedy, and sad infant, that he was “the good one”. He got off on being “the good one” as he had an empty life and so money and material gain, the reward of attaining all of these empty means, became both void-filler and lover of sorts. I used to be angry about it but after many years of rumination could muster only pity, though there was a time when I was all too aware of the fact that his daily walk from home to office meant having to walk past the huge marquee announcing the movie, “The Forty Year-Old Virgin”, during it’s run at the little theater downtown. Now I feel shame for snickering at that, and can muster only pity.

I’d never coveted money — preferring to spectate as others shamelessly and transparently fall all over each other, selling their souls and yet believing themselves absolved by way of a weekly trip to church or whatever justification they fabricate — and had let this happen while never believing it could happen, just as I had politely turned down the lawyer who had insisted I sue another ex, the sole ex boyfriend (of a list I can count on one hand) with whom I am no longer friends, for Malicious Prosecution, after he’d unsuccessfully sued me (not his first or last visit to that rodeo) in a case the judge had thrown out while shaming the DA for even daring to present such a travesty in an actual courtroom, though it had cost me $4800 to hire a dense lawyer; a criminal defense lawyer at that.

Lrainater I was told that the window clerk who’d allowed the bitter ex to even file the criminal complaint — an expansive and sad girl “not impervious to flirtation” — had been reprimanded, as had the clerk of courts who’d nervously allowed this farce to proceed from complaint to trial, and the DA who’d blushed when the judge had forced him to repeat the charges aloud, so as to emphasize the taint now blighting his career record.  The judge had later insinuated that he might feel inclined to award treble damages should I wish to pursue damages for the time and money I’d spent, but I declined, finding the idea unseemly.

220px-40-Year-OldVirginMoviePoster

I’ve forgiven both exes since, on my own and in lieu of any sort of apology or reparation though I have reached out and provided the opportunity, and have unloaded that baggage in a metaphorical dumpster, content to have my integrity intact, yet I feel the stories are forever mine to tell, as I am a fictional character and this, of course, is a fictional tale…

It was 2 am as my dog and I walked the dark mountain road through a monsoon reminiscent of the ones Tony and I had experienced in Chaing Mai, with rain of the sort that was not made of raindrops and did not fall, but rather drove and it pounded in sheets,  punctuated by thunder and frequent lightning which seemed to hit the ground dangerously close, and we were terrified. A car rolled up and I heard my name…

Yelp.com; A true user-review service or a pay-to-go-away revenue source?

Posted in Consumer Reports, Diesel car Repair Greenfield Ma, Diesel car Repair Pioneer Valley, Life is like Christopher Guest said it was, Regretful Human Behavior, Schemes with tags , , on August 16, 2012 by Admin

UPDATE: My review is now on Yelp, as one of two total reviews. Maybe because I called them out? I have left positive reviews on Yelp so maybe they really had no choice? And this post is the result of several emails to the mechanic in order to rectify the situation and having received no explanation for why I would be charged $100 for a FREE consultation and quote. I do not by any means wish to cause harm to anyone, but rather only to warn others to avoid that which I almost did not escape were it not for several friends’ warnings to me.

No good can come from ill-gotten gains.

The other day I posted about my experiences with a Diesel repair Shop in Greenfield, MA. That post is here.

I kindly did not name the shop in my post, but used key words such that the shop in question would possibly turn up in search engine results for “Diesel Repair Greenfield, MA” and similarly worded searches, and did insert visual clues, though I did not identify them as such.

I posted this not to bore people and thus cause them to flee my site in utter ennui, but solely to save others from that which nearly happened to/financially devastated me, till I was saved by highly suspicious friends (some of whom are familiar with/former acquaintances of the owner/mechanic at this single employee’ shop).

The dude, who is trying to dispose of the evidence — the body of the guy he “chipped” — is interrupted by the cop

All of this — this inexplicable $100 fee (which may as well be $1000 within the scope of my budget) for escaping a huge and ridiculously unnecessary car repair bill — reminds me of the final scene in the hilarious Steve Buscemi film, Fargo, in which the cop (brilliantly portrayed to comedic perfection by Francis McDormand), catches a guy using a log to further jam what is left of his accomplice into a wood chipper and subsequently arrests him. The final final scene is of these two in the police car slowly driving head-on into a blindingly white snowy horizon, as she lectures the culprit by way of saying, “And your friend there in the wood chipper? All for a little bit of money…”:

Who hilariously identifies herself partly by pointing to the badge on her hat

At which point the murderer dude — who is hilariously not very bright — tries to make a run for it, rather than own up to, having, been caught in the act

It would be far more amusing to focus on humorous or interesting things, anecdotes which will amuse and entertain, but I have a strong tendency toward empathy and a killer conscience which is SO relentless and anal that I’d not be at peace were I to later hear that someone I know or who reads my blog went to that shop and spent thousands for unnecessary repairs, as almost befell me. I noted in the post that I would kindly not name the place publicly but that I would answer private email inquiries.

But then as I outlined the chronological details of my experience, I saw it more clearly; it became impossible to not see that there absolutely was the possibility that my $2300 quote — to fix a “cracked” fuel injection pump which turned out to be MERELY a very obvious and visible-to-the-naked-eye loose bolt, which was fixed elsewhere by a twist of the wrist and free of charge  — was not only avoidable, but that by now, after being charged $100 (by way of non-fully-returned deposit)  for the FREE quote, that I could not be sure that I would have been spared once the mechanic got in and could, “perhaps”, then more clearly see that the not-crack was truly not a crack.

So I reviewed the company on Yelp.com and when I mentioned this to said friend she informed me of a rumor going around which asserts that one can pay yelp.com to “clean” their reviews. So I checked my review today and, gasp!, it is gone. I then sent a friend the link to where my review ought to be on that business’ page on Yelp.com in case one cannot see one’s own reviews (though it does turn up as visible to me ONLY in the form of my ability to edit it) who reported, “Nope. I don’t see it.”

I wrote to yelp.com asking why; what part of my factual review does not meet their terms and guidelines (which I skimmed) and am waiting for a reply, which I will post here, if I receive one.

There are many other websites where on can review businesses and it may well be that the rumor of buying a “cleanse” are false, or that it is true and is a widespread practice, and any combination thereof. Maybe it is time to research available consumer review sites and write about that. Meanwhile, for the record, that Diesel Repair Shop? It’s Evergreen Motors in Greenfield, MA. I will not, however, name the owner as that may be considered “private information”, though it is on his site and blog, and mostly like the Facebook page for his business.

But I may just change the title of that post, and this one, to include the name. All I want is to save others from financial distress. I have nothing to gain at this point and even if a refund of my money were offered I’d not accept it because that would make these posts seem unethical and akin to blackmail, and my conscience would not allow it.

The Practical Princess

Posted in Activism?, Adventures and Interludes, Advice, Being a Virgo, being defensive, Confusion, danger, Life Performance Art, Miracles, Obsessions, quick thinking, Schemes, Self-defense for women, solutions, The meaning of life, Thoughts with tags , , on March 22, 2012 by Admin

NOTE: This is a work in progress but I hit “publish” anyway because I promised…

Åt some point in my childhood, probably around age 6 or 7ish, I received this children’s book as a gift — The Practical Princess — and it immediately became my favorite book of all time, ever. Written by Jay Williams, and illustrated by Friso Henstra, it is an astonishingly beautiful and, well, very practical children’s book; a huge departure from the typical literary fare for kids of that era, revolutionary for its time. Yet it only became apparent a few days ago in therapy how very deeply impactful it had been on my development as a person, after relating yet another anecdote about escaping harm with quick-thinking.

I have been a voracious reader from the days of  Fun With Dick and Jane on, often climbing the tallest tree in my yard and precariously perching in a crook of the tree at the top, so I could read without being reached  — for chores, punishment, or random admonishments — and would stay there all day reading Nancy Drew mysteries, one after another.  Coincidentally, the first thing I thought when I first met my therapist years ago was that she looked a lot like my vision of Nancy Drew as derived from the era in which my books had been illustrated — Nancy Drew gets a new look for each generation — and I found this resemblance extremely comforting, fateful even.

I also very much identified with Ramona The Pest, and admittedly still do. I’d always marvel at the kids who seemed so wise and composed, like old souls or some such thing; my way seems fated to bumble through life blurting out whatever I am thinking, like last night at dinner with friends, when during a discussion about something else entirely I blurted, “I went for a walk in the woods naked the other day with a friend”, and it took Larnett 5 minutes to process it, pondering, pausing, only later asking, “WHAT? Did you just really say what I think you did?”, but then Larnett shows up along with Amy G. in a previous post, for saying “Next to ‘Free Association’ in the dictionary there is a picture of Mo”, so, there’s that.

But the benign and innocent world of Ramona The Pest is a far cry from the topic of this post — I segue as much as I free associate and blurt.

Years ago I had learned in a trial by fire — a studio fire to be exact, of which I bear scars still in the form of often irrational fears which, left unchallenged daily, could well lead to agoraphobia — that I tend to automatically react with lightening fast and flawless judgement in times of emergency. Who knew? Of all the fallout from that trauma, this one fact is the most palatable, resonant and important, yet in looking back, during therapy this recent morning, I realized that I have at many times in the past displayed precise and immediate assessment of danger — whether it be by way of people or situations — and subsequently react with instinctual and rapid plan-making and execution, saving myself (three times, that I can recall) from what may well have been gang rape, death by fire, and incalculable other potential harms.

This story absolutely assisted in facilitating that reaction. No one thing can determine who and how we are, and yet at a prime developmental period this book absolutely contributed to this, and also to my eventual feminist philosophy and art, as it made it glamorous, perhaps, to be practical and fearless. My fearlessness was obvious from a very young age and did not exactly endear me to my father, but that’s a whole other story.

In googling the author today I came upon this: “Williams was also one of the first and best of the authors who responded to the feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s by writing a new kind of fairy tale. Though his stories are traditional in their choice of episode and motif, they also overturn nearly all the conventions of the genre to illustrate new ideas about women.

Williams’s famously funny and very influential picture book The Practical Princess (1969) reworked both ‘Rapunzel’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

Its heroine, Princess Bedelia, has been promised to a dragon, but instead of waiting for a prince to rescue her, she explodes the monster by arranging for a straw figure filled with gunpowder to be dressed in her court robes and thrown into its open mouth… Though there are now many stories like these in print, when The Practical Princess and Petronella first appeared, they caused a minor sensation, and as a result both readers and writers now approach fairy tales in new and interesting ways.” [source]

The dinosaur tracks trail/park at first seems merely like a little parking area on RT 5 along the Connecticut river in Holyoke, just over the Easthampton line. It’s a little slip of a parking area, an arc one eases into alongside Rt 5, with little fanfare. But it then leads to a little path through some fairly dense woods and down to the Connecticut river, with big flat-ish rocks which reach out into and over the water, on which one can sit or stand. Or one can walk the rocks like a ramp down into the water and wet one’s ankles, or even throw a fishing line perhaps.

There is an informational sign encased in lucite in the parking area which explains the who, what, where, why and how of the tracks but I forget what it says and have never been back — I cannot possibly ever go back — since the beautiful early summer day when I last visited, and so I have no picture to post of it. At the beginning of the wooded path, in an open and sunny clearing, said dinosaur tracks are perceptible, if one is paying attention and is looking for them, often marked by graffiti. Sadly, it is also clear where some of the tracks have been completely unearthed and likely carted off, probably for sale at whichever black market such things are sold.

After passing the tracks, the trail leads through a fairly densely wooded area for about 30-50 yards (I am terrible at measuring distances) through trees neither particularly tall or short, down to the Connecticut River to the rocky outcroppings at which point one is facing the river, from which point one can clearly see across the river to the houses on the other side, and one imagines those riverfront people can likely see those of us on this side of the river.
At times the parking lot is full, and it seems there is always a Subaru something-er with roof racks in the lot, as kayakers seem to use this spot as frequently as hikers, families, and sometimes people walking alone or mothers with a child or two. It seems safe, an innocent diversion even, far from the flats of Holyoke where I have my studio and where I exercise increased caution. So I thought nothing of taking my dog Jamoka for a walk there, that day a few years ago, a day much like today… beautiful, breezy, sunny, quiet…
TO BE CONTINUED…. tomorrow perhaps, after I scan more images from my book and write the rest of it.
READ PART II

Advice Columnism for hacks

Posted in Advice, art, Gadgets, Schemes, Thoughts with tags , , on April 21, 2009 by Admin

Dear Mo-ie Dearest, I am just short of cutting off my ear for love, signed, ~>

”]Wine Glass with reservoir: Two together might make a heart shape - making this image relevant to this post - and might help rekindle the love. Dear ~>,
Hmm. Maybe something less van Gogh-ian would be better and more au courant, révolutionnaire? Perhaps cutting off some split ends for love? And weaving them into a love wreath to be framed and hung on the wall, or used as a dangerously flammable lampshade (for the danger and drama of it)? Perhaps add in some strands from ripped jeans.

Hell, make a garland and wear it around your neck like a giant neck corsage. Better yet, make the whole pile into a garland and then immortalize it in a colorful jello mold and sell it to MOMA for a million dollars, become instantly rich and famous and take a year off to travel the world staying in villas, chateaus and yurts, and rekindle the love.

Yes, that is the best plan my friend. Start weaving; figuratively and literally. I have all the best ideas. ;-)

Your pal, Mo-ie Dearest

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