Since When Is Respecting Children’s Decisions A Thing?

I was pretty shocked by a parent’s decision this afternoon.  I’m playing the piano for a new children’s chorus this summer and today was our second to last rehearsal before our concert – our last one before our dress rehearsal.  We only had 12 kids enroll total and shortly after two of them didn’t show up today, the dad texted to say they didn’t feel like doing it anymore and he was respecting their decision.

Since when is respecting children’s decisions a thing?!

I say this half jokingly.  Of course we allow children to make decisions, but do we let them break commitments, especially when people are counting on them?  One of the children had a solo.  This meant we had to cut into what precious time we had left to audition children and decide who was going to replace him on short notice.  We needed to be polishing everything instead.

My response to my children would have been, “I’m sorry you’re not enjoying the choir as much as you thought you would or that you’re missing out on (fill in the blank) because you committed to this, but you’re going to stick it out and you’re going to do it with a good attitude or else you can expect consequences x, y, and z.”

It was disrespectful to my friend who started the choir.  She does a wonderful job and goes the extra mile, planning educational games at each rehearsal.  She has a beautiful voice and any child is lucky to learn from her.

I don’t think this dad realized that when he said, “I’m respecting my kids’ decision” he was sending the message, “I don’t respect you.”  Today he taught his children a poor lesson, bad musicianship, and to be flakes.

The show will now go on with ten adorable kids.


A Heart to Heart With a Scammer

I’ve made a few more videos where I waste the time of scammers, but what I wasn’t expecting was to be told by the fake IRS that I didn’t owe money.  Some of the scammers leave messages for people that they have a warrant out for their arrest and others don’t.  I think when I called this particular number the other day, they were one call center that doesn’t leave messages for people to call them back because they immediately said it “wasn’t possible” that I owed money.

If you don’t want to watch 20 minutes of conversation, here are the highlights (that I remember off the top of my head).  But it is pretty funny and I think you’ll be amused.  😀

The first guy told me to go celebrate.  “Go have a beer.”  I told him I didn’t drink beer.  I couldn’t really understand what he said next, but I think he told me to live a little or something.  I asked him, “How many people have you arrested today?”

I definitely thought he was going to hang up, but he transferred me to his “senior” who called himself “Jack Sparrow”.  Their “work day” was coming to a close soon, so it seemed they were just in the mood to play.  Or maybe they’ve made some notes that I’m the lady who calls and tells them I can’t pay the IRS because I spent my last $1,000 on marshmallows, or that I thought jail sounded like a nice vacation, and my most recent tactic – pretending I was on my way to Fred Meyer to pick up a voucher, but accidentally running over an old lady in my panicked state.  They emphasize a lot that if you hang up, you will go to jail for sure, so I wondered what they would say if I needed to call an ambulance.  The scammer said, “No.”  He said he would hold though while I applied first aid.  Maybe if my performance had been convincing enough?  I tell ya, next time I’m going all the way to the store.  It will be a long drive and I will sing all the way there.

This idea was based off of real events in which a panicked person got in a car accident and left the scene because he had been told he had one hour before he was going to jail.

Anyway, my conversation with “Jack Sparrow” was fascinating.  I didn’t yell at him – just asked him questions.  He told me about his piratey ways.  He’s a bit profane, so be forewarned.  I did notice though that his swearing decreased throughout our conversation.  He started saying “frickin'” instead of the F-bomb.  I think because I wasn’t swearing at him.

“Which scam are you running today?” I asked.

“Wouldn’t you feel better if you were doing honest work?  Something where you could make your mother proud?”

He told me Fridays they do the IRS scam.  I said, “And then Windows Computer on Mondays?”  He said, “No, only lame people do that scam.”  He added that it doesn’t make much money.  He laughed when I told him how angry I made one of those scammers.  He doesn’t take offense at scambaiters.  He flat out said that he’s a scammer.  Today he was being a “truthful scammer”.  He didn’t like my name because it wasn’t simple enough.  What’s not simple about Ivana Tinkle?

People scam for all sorts of reasons. In the US, we have plenty of opportunity, yet we still have scammers.  But this guy claimed that he was over a group of 20 disabled people who couldn’t get jobs.  He said they don’t exist to the Indian government.  He doesn’t have legs and claims he can’t get a real job.

Of course, I have no way of knowing if that’s true because he lies for a living, but he did say my number was sold to them a couple days ago and that I should change it soon because it was on a database and thousands of people have access to it.  I explained that the previous owners of the number had already ruined that for us and I was already accustomed to ignoring phone calls.  Plus he didn’t seem to understand that I love scam calls because if they’re talking to me, maybe I saved one vulnerable person.

He told me about other scams and said I can read about others on the FTC website.  I couldn’t help but crack up at this guy!  If it’s true that he can’t get a job because he’s disabled, I feel slightly bad for him.  I wish I still had neighbors from India because I would be asking them about how the disabled are treated there.

Jack also said he makes the final decision as to whether they’re going to follow through with ripping a person off.  He said if they have cancer, he’s not going to scam them.  Well, how kind!  He said mostly they rip off those between the ages of 25 to 40.  They justify it because most of them are working and they’re desperate not to go to jail because they’re just married, single moms, etc.  Obviously he has no clue that many of those people are drowning in debt.

I had a good laugh when I told him what a nightmare it is to get a hold of the real IRS and he laughed, saying he knew because he’s tried it and it takes 45 minutes.  I wonder why he was calling?  Trying to take some notes on how to be a more convincing IRS agent?

I said, “Why don’t you guys start a charity for all the people who don’t have any legs?”  He said, “People don’t have money here.”  I said, “There’s charities here.  Why don’t you say, ‘Hey. We work in a call center and we don’t have any legs.  Will you give us money?'”

When I asked him what time it is, he said it was almost 4:45am.  I said, “Wow.  You’re dedicated scammers to be up that early in the morning.”

Eventually I had to go do something more productive, bidding him farewell.  “Thank  you for the advice, Captain Jack Sparrow Scammer Man.”  Still no offense taken by him.  I told him I would call him back if I thought of any solutions to being discriminated against for his disability, but he said the number will most likely be changed and we’ll never talk again.

If you want to receive notifications that I have new videos up, please subscribe!  It won’t all be scammer related either.  😀



Using Self-Checkout

I was standing in line at the store.

Clerk:  Ma’am?  Can I help you over here at self-checkout?

Me:  Um, OK.

I followed her to self-checkout.

Clerk:  Oh.  Did you want me to do it for you?  Some people like to do it themselves.

Me:  I can’t even think right now.  Yes, you may do it for me.

My inner monologue:  If I wanted to do it myself, I would have gone to self-checkout in the first place!

I don’t get the point of self-checkout and I don’t like it.  When I place my things in the bagging area, it’s awkward, stuff falls over, there’s not enough room, and I can’t put the bags in my cart until I’ve paid.

Really, the only reason I would ever want to go through self-checkout is if I were buying something embarrassing.  Speaking of, when you buy something embarrassing and it’s the only thing you need, do you find yourself buying 20 other things you don’t need just to camouflage the Monistat 7 that you desperately need?  I admit it.  I do that.  I’m not sure if it’s more for the clerk’s comfort or mine.  I think I started doing this the first time I bought a pregnancy test (and nothing else).  I’ve always looked young for my age and the clerk just couldn’t help herself.  “Is this a good thing or a bad thing?”  WOW.

I was telling my husband that one of these days, I would like to buy all embarrassing stuff for a laugh and to see the confused looks.

A pregnancy test

Condoms (“What?  Isn’t it too late? She’s buying a pregnancy test!”)

Maxi pads/tampons (“Again, isn’t this person possibly pregnant?”)

Yeast infection medication

Preparation H – multiple forms (Suppositories and the cream)

Basically, anything that makes it look like I have an ailment or tells too much about my personal life.  I would probably do this if I had money to burn, but I don’t.  But it would so be worth the laugh!


Being Fat And Going To An Amusement Park

A friend invited me and my kids to her daughter’s birthday party at a place called Wild Waves.  I hadn’t been there since I was a teenager!  I always loved rides.  I wanted anything fast that went upside down.

There were so many rides I wanted to go on yesterday, but the signs said some of the rides wouldn’t be able to accommodate “large guests”.  They have signs that say, “Must be this tall to ride.”  What if they had some that said, “Must not be wider than this to go on this ride?”  That might be helpful.

I really wasn’t sure if the lap bar would close all the way if I went on the rides and I didn’t want to do the walk of shame out of there if I didn’t fit.  I wondered, “How much will I have to lose before I know I will fit for sure?”  That could be a great motivator for me.

When we went to the water park side, I was able to enjoy myself a little more, although I wondered about the weight limit on the tube slides. Was there some genius engineer who discovered that’s what the tube can handle?  Or will a person heavier than x amount die on that ride or be seriously injured?  I did the long climb up to ride the “Rip Tide”, which everyone calls “The Toilet”.  There was no turning back.  I exerted myself way too much to not go down the toilet, even if it meant I might be maimed or killed.  I was right at the limit.  What if I got stuck in the toilet?  Imagine the headlines.  “Obese woman plugs ‘The Toilet’ at Wild Waves.”  “Woman had to be airlifted out of ‘The Toilet'”.

I’m relieved to say that I made it out of the toilet in one piece!  Wait – that sounded wrong.

I haven’t had an exact weight loss goal in mind, but by next summer, I want to ride all the fun rides with my kids/not wonder if I’m going to die due to the laws of physics!  We’ll start there.