Motivated by a lack of material.

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

My Life Through Malls

As I sat watching my husband and granddaughter ride the merry-go-round I was transported back  through time and space to Torrance, California;  her father was about 3 years old riding this imported merry-go-round with his “Auntie Jennifer” (I even have a picture) at the “Old Towne Mall”. That mall housed old fashioned shops, glass-bowers, etc. ; it never caught on, it survived for decades but it slowly disappeared into oblivion like the “Carson Mall”, “The Hawthorne Mall”, “Gwinnett Place Mall”, to name a few I had encounters with. However, even before that as a teen when the mall phenomenon was just catching on my life-long friend(i.e just like a sister, only our parents are different) Kim and I spent many Saturdays at the nearby malls. We would spend hours there with money that would barely buy lunch, no wait  a cookie and a drink now. The malls had everything from cute clothes, fun food, and attractive members of the opposite sex. Truly one stop shopping. As certain music can be attached to you , producing YOUR personal soundtrack , my mall experience served as a navigational tool.  I was able to connect my shopping habits to where I was in my  life at any given time. I thought , ” Wow this is crazy”! Yet it started me thinking about how true this was. I now see myself going out of my way to avoid trips to the mall. I buy online to avoid the crowds or go to local shopping areas, places that you have to walk from store to store by exiting the building and going outside. As everything in life, this trend of malls has made a full circle. Once the appeal of year-round-regardless-of-weather-conditions environment brought people out in droves. They had everything. There was a point that you could do it all at the mall. The Mall of America even had an amusement park inside. multiplex movie theaters were signs of a money making mall, the mall near my home “Peninsula Center” even had an ice skating rink. A little out of the ordinary for Southern Cal. It was a point that you not only dreaded going into malls because of crowds, but the area nearby because of traffic. Now the small local specialty shops are on the rise, “anchor stores” like Macy’s are losing ground to vintage clothing and second hand stores. The economy made us uncomfortable and unhappy, but it also made us think and become thrifty. We came up with new ideas to keep ourselves fashionable without spending a fortune. Of course the mall experience has not died, in many cases it is not even sick. I know my disdain began when I watched a report in the mid 1990’s and the “mall psychologist” was  noted as a necessary part of mall planning. My first though was what-the-__ is a” mall psychologist”. As the report went on it explained things like appealing to people and promoting impulse buying, the use of tactic like end cap displays, but what ticked me off was when one of these professionals talked about how some malls had the up escalator on one end of the mall and the down escalator on the other end. If you wanted to just come into one particular store aside from those “anchor stores”, you would have to either climb stairs, wait on an elevator (also in an “anchor store” for the most part}, or walk a good distance past many stores clamoring for your attention and your money.

I thought of malls I knew of that were designed just like that, malls I frequented and  how hard it was to just walk, not browse when you were in the mall walking past stores. Then the “mall psychologist” did not seem quite so ridiculous, I realized how predictable I was, how these individuals had sized me up. I hated that they were right. I set out to be a part of the resistance. Yeah well, finances were the biggest factor in my resistance. However, as time went by I did realize how little I needed the mall experience.

On this particular day as I sat recalling a time gone by, having a DeJeVu moment with my granddaughter I was once again able to appreciate the experience of indoor shopping. However, I did take note this mall is all on one level.


A Birthday Card

Birthdays are special to me. Folks who are close to me know this and know I generally do not miss anyone I know special day.  It is a role I took on when my favorite aunt passed many years ago, it just fit.When mail was a main vehicle of communication our family knew there was a card coming on their birthday, and if you were local the most fabulous cake you could imagine, because Aunt Elinor saw to that.  I am not infallible as she was, nor am I the baker.  I  do offer what is available to me.

Pressed for time I wanted to share something from my childhood. Today marks a special day for a lady I have know since childhood. I met her as an awkward tween, when I moved next door to her. She was a pretty girl and I knew my life would be “hell”. However I was pleasantly surprised.. okay I was down right shocked, when she came into the backyard separated by a chain linked fence and offered a friendly “Hi”. I was swinging like a child, because I didn’t think anyone was watching. I said, “Hi” back to her and froze. She started up the yard and we were friends from that point on.. No not really. The sound of a record scratching drives home this point.

There is far more to our story than that. However, this is called  A Birthday Card not a series of books, and I say that because it would take volumes to cover what Kim and I have shared over these past 4o+ years. I think of the boyfriends, the times we did not speak to one another, the marriages, the parties, the births, and the passing’s. Departures and arrivals, zeniths and plateaus; I know I never dreamed the pretty girl next door would be my lifelong friend, so many years down the line and still as pretty as ever, as a matter of fact she is beautiful from the inside out. On the anniversary of her birth I just want to say, “Happy Birthday!! and Thank You my sister, and my friend for life. It is your birthday, but I have been the recipient of the gift for decades. Be blessed.

Has My Blog Died and Gone To Heaven?

Today we are going to do a Frankenstein type experiment utilizing a eulogy as the tool to attempt resurrection.

Hafacenturyncounting.com was cute down in it’s prime. A victim of neglect. No one could have known that after a few short weeks it would be treated as though it never existed. As passerby drops in a couple times a week, but overall the site remains quiet and unnoticed. The few followers are still around as loyalty is characteristic of them. One can easily see how blogs get caught up in the whirlpools of the internet, and you truly are only as successful as the last piece you wrote.

Hafacenturyncounting.com came to be three short years ago, armed with a background of a “seasoned novice writer” as it’s only tool. Continuing through the years hoping to connect with others on a common journey. There were no real expectations; only to be an exchange of information from one individual’s vantage point, with perspective many travel this same road and share these same experiences. Never wildly popular, but most who bothered to stop by enjoyed the visit. I blame marketing or lack there of. It is a plain paper bag in the world of colorful, picture riddled writings. Yet Hafacenturyncounting.com  believed it could appeal to the mature, serious-minded individual.

Hafacenturyncounting.com “bit the dust” without warning; okay maybe that is an over simplified assessment, but it took a backseat too long. I stopped writing everyday or every week for that matter. I thought there was enough material to keep visitors coming and there is a great deal to read(292 published blogs). What I failed to realize is we as a society are very much into the now, what is new will catch the eye. Even though there is a great deal in the blog to read, it only gets attention when a red flag is waved or an announcement of it comes.

Therefore, I wish to announce Hafacenturyncounting.com is not dead! My answer to the title is “Not by a long shot”! I do respectfully request a little more effort on the part of my followers, to bother to read more of the material contained in the blog. However, I will make every effort NOT to be negligent from this point forward. That said look for a least one piece per week.  Hafacenturyncounting.com does appreciate each of the followers, readers, and critic who stop by the site. See you soon.

Sorry To Disappoint You But…

I suppose I am not only confused, I am equally confusing.  If you have ever had your proverbial coattail pulled, you will be able to relate. You have to be able to bare your soul to those you call family and friends, but then the realization comes to you in an unexpected form, that maybe you need to keep a little of that soul covered for the sake of all concerned.

On this journey called life we encounter a vast variety of experiences that we sometimes have to come to grips with; we lived through them, but did not necessarily conquer them. The appearance of” being on top” for example can be deceiving and therefore gives off an illusion. You don’t mean to trick or fool those close to you, but they can easily be convinced of things merely because they want them to be true. Expectations are high, you don’t want to disappoint, but at some point in time you must face facts and so must those you are closest to.

Flawed, imperfect, weak, and devoid of solution you cower in your little corner waiting for someone to pick you up and carry you to safety, even if you have historically been the one doing the picking up. This now must be coupled with the knowledge your cries as well as your crisis went unnoticed. It is so difficult to carry so much and not complain. Honestly, it takes a lot to carry loads and complain. Understand as let down as you feel that”rock”, you thought you knew, is experiencing the backlash of what you feel and placing the additional burden upon themselves of “I should have been better“.

The problem with a “rock” is that the tough exterior is porous, this means the damage comes over time from something penetrating and seeping in. Conditions, just like climate, change and eventually the “rock” cracks; it is weakened now no longer able to withstand what it used to, finally  the crack will break the “rock”. Though it may take a long time and the outward appearance does not change much internal changes are taking place.

“Those things that do not kill us make us strong”. However, strong people get taken advantage of as much as the weak ones do.

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