Friday, May 30, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Considered a connoisseur of conversation by my peers, I feel qualified - or at least unchallenged in my claim that I can basically talk to anyone and everyone.
Proof for this hypothesis exists! Just ask the guy at the bank who told me his life story, and why his debit card password was so great - and then told me the password! All this occurred in the time it took to stand in a line with five other people so I could get change for a twenty. It's possible that the word "dude" and an actual question mark appeared in a bubble above my head. I think I felt it form. And so, it shook him up a bit when I told that little fib that I was pretty excited about getting out of federal prison and having a real bank account again. He did a little nervous laugh before I told him, "Just kidding!"
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
As I aimlessly clicked through the television channels after our holiday grill fest, I came across a television news show that had a segment entitled "No Poo." In the background, the announcer commented about the "no poo movement" and I decided I had to watch this since it appeared to boast of an incomprehensibly stupid and uncomfortable trend. Must-see-TV, as the phrase goes.
Monday, May 26, 2014
I'm a people person; it's difficult for me to grasp the sacrifices of a nation based on numbers. So many conflicts, so many losses. It's the personal stories that bring war into perspective for me, so I thought I'd share one today.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Life is an endless list of questions, so I thought I'd clear my brain for the weekend. Please feel free to enlighten me; I'm trainable, I swear!
- What's the deal with "liking" your own post on Facebook? Isn't it a given that you are basically are on board and in agreement with what you want to post on Facebook? Does anyone really post a comment, and then crawl off to the corner in distress while moaning, "Oh, why did I write that? I just hate what I said! I hope everyone sees that I gave it the thumbs down!" Liking your own post is a bit of vanity; go read someone else's post. Build up their confidence a little.
- Which brings me to question number two: why is "like" the only option for Facebook? Someone will post an Amber alert and we're all liking it? Isn't that sending the wrong sentiment? Or are there people who are just not that crazy about kids? Another friend posted that she felt awful. A bunch of people liked that one, too. Facebook is trying to break up friendships and diminish English comprehension. Wikipedia reports that the like button indicates your appreciation of the content of the post...but it's, you know, ...Wikipedia. But I digress: Curse you, Zuckerberg!!
- While reading a news article on a case of animal neglect, the reporter described the scene in great detail, noting the presence of "fresh urine." Urine really isn't like produce; there's nothing fresh about puddles of urine. Just trust me on this one, no test run needed. If you are seeing it mid-stream or airborne, I might possibly pull back on my stance. I doubt it, though.
- There's talk of privatizing space. As in "Danger, danger, Will Robinson!" Space. Sort of like the company that bankrolled the Mayflower's voyage to the New World, there are companies that want to get on the planetary colonization bandwagon...er, bandrocket. Until there is a line forming right at the edge of Mars' atmosphere, I don't think we should worry about it. We're not at the oh-so-critical-save-me-a-place-in-line phase yet.
- A politician was being interviewed. In the course of the conversation, he bragged that his parents raised their large family on one income. Great, I thought...till he also mentioned the "bigger house" and the house at the shore. No one will pat you on the back for getting by on "just one income" if it is a huge, stinking income. We all want to get by on that, man.
- My granddaughter and a friend spent the afternoon trying out furniture for a hamster...or gerbil...some rodent-like creature. I've had a lot of pets, but it never occurred to me that I needed to worry whether or not they had - or liked - their chair. After all, I'm saving them from sleeping outside in the big scheme of things. I might have a big head about it, but there ya go.
- There's a company that makes houses from metal shipping containers, and Buzzfeed described the homes as "like Legos for adults." I beg to differ; that is only an accurate description if the adults have 158 metal shipping container houses, and they've stepped on them at least once.
- If you start any of your sentences with the phrase, "At the risk of being didactic..." - the cow is already out of the barn. You are taking the risk, and you ARE being didactic...like you didn't know, you devil.
Have a great weekend and be safe, peeps!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Now, hold your horses a minute...lest you think we were brilliant savants (sorry, Patti), I have a confession. We had a particular writing style that basically revolved around our favorite television shows. Why make up new characters when you can find perfectly good characters on all the channels (which was three channels, by the way). We were probably doing this around the ages of eleven or twelve, blissfully free of the barrage of media that surrounds today's young people. Limited exposure hyper-focused our attention on the one thing we did have access to; and so. it makes perfect sense that our view of the world was very much impacted by television shows of the sixties.
If we really, really liked you - you could be a top star of the stage of the Marcia Drive Playhouse!
Dark Shadows was a favorite of ours. If you're unfamiliar with the show, it was the American gothic soap opera-like tale of the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine - and their centuries of bad luck with women, compounded by vampirism, witches and werewolves. You know, the typical New England family.
The main character was Barnabas Collins (played by Candadian Jonathan Frid). The story jumped back and forth from the 18th century to the present day. Nothing about Barnabas Collins was handsome or attractive, but the story line included at least two women he was involved with in the past, and two in the future - both played by the same actresses. In the present day, he also had Dr. Julia Hoffman, who was alternately trying to help him or lusting after him. Again...not attractive, and yet this all seemed plausible to an impressionable kid. Jumping back and forth in time - totally in to it.
Even as kids, we knew this was a good start, but we could add so much to this story. The plot needed to pick up the pace a bit, and that is where Patti and I came in. Armed with pencils and spiral notebooks, we'd write page after page, act out the parts with each other, and cracking ourselves up. We thought we were brilliant. You think like that as a kid - everything is bigger!
Armed with this new found satisfaction and abundant faith in our ability to be legends on our own porch, the plot lines of our version of Dark Shadows got wilder and wilder. We named our episodes with ridiculous titles like "One Good Bite Deserves Another" and added special guest stars, like Monkees Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. Teen heartthrob, Bobby Sherman, popped in scenes for a few lines with vampire Barnabas Collins. David Cassidy fought for the love of this character or that one. It was our play and we could do whatever we wanted to, so every celebrity we loved got a starring role, at one time or another! If Marvin Hamlisch lived anywhere near us, we could have talked him into a musical collaboration, I'm sure. And we laughed at our own goofyness (is that a word?) till we were half sick.
Then I grew up. Bummer. Everything is smaller and more jaded.
Years later, I was standing in a hotel lobby with a friend when Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz walked in. Patti would have appreciated it. Of course, I asked for autographs; I'm a geek. Davy Jones was so kind and talkative that my friend and I were inspired to ask Micky Dolenz for an autograph; he informed us that he didn't have time, he was checking in - with an extra dose of "I'm-so-put-out-being-me" added for effect. Our confidence went down the toilet, but we had nothing to lose - we were adults and we didn't know anyone in the lobby who would gossip about how we got shot down by a bitter Monkee. What the heck! We walked over and talked to Peter Tork. He was lovely and chatty and I had a moment of childhood excitement revisited - I was talking to someone I had seen a hundred times on the boob tube, and he was actually civil. Obviously, my standards lowered after the Dolenz smack down...but still...
While we were enjoying this moment of revisiting childhood with Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz came back over and said "Did you want an autograph?"
"No, thank you," I replied kindly and added a dorky smile for good measure.
I'm weird like that. No matter how old I get, I always remember the Marcia Drive Playhouse rules: no one is allowed to take themselves that seriously.
Recently, I watched an episode of Dark Shadows on Netflix. Our plays were much better.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Resigned to the fact that I'll stand there longer than necessary, I inadvertantly overhear most of the conversations around me. I try not to make eye contact, lest I be pulled in to those dark abysses of chatter. Looking blankly at the contents of their carts does the trick nicely, but I still can't help but hear the banter. Mentally, I comparitively evaluate comments versus cart contents.
An old friend from Ohio had a favorite saying: "That's what your mouth said." It inferred that what you said wasn't necessarily true to form with your actions. I love that saying. Not to be outdone, I created another term that identifies hypocrisy chatter that I call "sin-onyms."
A sin-onym is when you are defining something as oh-so-wrong...it's a sin; but you're doing it. Sometimes, blatantly and obliviously.
What's in the heart vs. what's in the cart:
"Thou shall not kill..." (Complaining about a local crime; a dog that was shot.)
Cart contents: Steaks, fish sticks, pork chops, Stovetop stuffing, canned chicken, Coke, paper products. Unless it is a cow, chicken or fish, by the looks of your cart. I look at my cart. Bathroom cleaner, turkey lunchmeat and almond milk. I'm not sure about living almonds, but what about germs? I'm a future killer, too. With a little luck, I'll soon be killing them all over the bathroom. What am I thinking? They have lives! Grody, disgusting, body-fluid borne, disease causing lives.
"Vegetarianism only makes sense; I don't want to kill anything just to satisfy some selfish urge." (Debating the virtues of dietary decisions with a spouse)
Cart contents: Vegetables, fruits, Annie's brand frozen foods, Larabars, quinoa, beer, bottled water. What do you have against plants? Really, they're living. Where do you draw the line? How do you live with yourself.
"I don't want to judge...but that girl is a ______." (reviewing magazines on the stand)
Cart contents: Beer, Coke, saltines, hamburger helper, Enquirer, People. Magazines are a PR machine; this in not information to help you make a decision about what someone is or isn't; you just can't know if anything you hear in the media is true. There is also a passage in the same often quoted book that says "by all means, use your judgement; hold on to whatever is good." So, good for the media maven - she's got her picture in a national magazine! That's about all I know that is true, for sure.
When most people say they don't want to judge...they're totally judging. I see this said in a passive-aggressive tone a lot. So, in an effort to avoid judging, or discerning, you're going subconsciously, full-on hateful? How can you get mad at someone you don't know anything about? And why are you mad right now, in the grocery store? You're ahead of me in line, isn't that a reason to be pleased?
And to think - I just want to buy some lunch meat, and here you are judging all over the place. Do not let that get on my highly processed meat. Ew.
"The employees need to be taught a little respect. They're all idiots." (Problems with a debit card.) Cart contents, irrelevant. Self explanatory sin-onym. P.S. Guess who won't be called on to teach that lesson on respect?
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
The blog posts seem to have a language focus this week, which brings me to the subject of, you know, the repetition of certain words in a "personal" vocabulary. Everyone knows a co-worker, friend, family member or child who has favorite words that are so cute the first 900 times they say it, you know? And then they, like, grow a lot, you know? Like years-wise? And you, like, love that dude like crazy, you know, but it just gets on your last nerve.
There are words that should have a quantitative limit on the number of times you can use them in your life time. Perhaps you weren't aware; I get that. This short list is just to get you started if you need an overhaul in your vocabulary.
A starter list of terms to avoid:
you know 1 per day
If I know, and you know I know, you really don't have to stress that point much more, you know?
Let the know flow; it's understood.
like 1 per sentence
If it is the main verb, not any undiagrammable offshoot, as in the sentence "he was, like, totally crazy...so I like freaked and said dude, like, be cool and stuff!" Like that.
dat 0 times
Unless you have a speech impediment and are attending speech therapy. If you've missed a scheduled appointment, this exception is revoked. Oh, it's like dat, 24/7. Speaking of which...
24/7 5 times per lifetime...and it better really be 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
(more if you are a personal trainer or police officer)
Yo 1 time
Never at the beginning or end of an interrogative sentence. Shouted only. Hailing a cab, perhaps; unless you are unemployed, in which case - 0 times. You might want to get in the no-yo habit immediately. Nothing does less for your possible job hunt then saying "yo" in an interview. Trust me...or that guy I didn't hire.
poo, poo-poo, wee, pee-pee or the ever popular tinkle 1 time per day
Preferably, if your actual (chronological, not mental) age is 6 years old or less.
Whispering does not negate the rule.
Definite "no" post-teens. You want to go to prom, don't you? Raise your hand and ask to do any of those things, using those words and see where it gets you.
holler, holla No; zero.
That day is done, son.
Addendum for clarification: If you say this to reference a "hollow", hang that up, too (ahem...West Virginia, this means you, or ya'll, I should say...).
Dude! Only if attending a Bill and Ted throwback party (unlimited for the full party time).
That would be most excellent; other than that...no.
Babe, or baby Only for your beloved.
No exception for Justin Bieber.
All other B type words are forbidden, if addressing females.
Sugar, Honey Only for your beloved.
Exception for The Archies (now I am showing my age). Hey, if I won't give a break to an ancient, swinging preppy dressed rock band composed of cartoon characters, what does that say about ME?
All other H type words are forbidden, if addressing females.
I had to look that one up. No. No one should have to work at it to sound dopey, but this route is just too easy.
Homie No, double no
In spite of my views, I reserve the right to still think I'm cool (in private), even though I still say cool.
Monday, May 19, 2014
[Gotta 'fess up and give credit where it is due: this cartoon idea burst forth from the well-fertilized brain of my youngest son, Gonzo...I just had to accept the challenge and draw it. My competition may be chowing down on cereal in the kitchen at this very moment. Glad he doesn't want to draw...]
Friday, May 16, 2014
Realizing there are only so many ideas floating out there in the world, we can expect to see some stinkers. But Rosemary's Baby with Mia (the only Rosemary) Farrow didn't need a re-do or a complete coat of stinkeroo. It was a truly scary movie back in the day. Part of this may have been my age.
The original Rosemary's Baby came out in 1965; I'm sure we saw it later on. As a six year old in 1965, I was an enthusiastic participant in one of our family outing favorites: the drive-in movie. Dad would announce that we were going to the movies (about two miles from our house) and then add, "put your pajamas on." Whaaat?? We'd mope and complain about that because there was a great playground at the movie theater, right in front of the screen. Meanwhile my Dad and Mom had a perfect plan - the kids wear their pajamas, later they fall asleep before the end of the first kid-friendly movie, then they totally crash and snooze through the second movie and all Mom and Dad had to do was carry us in to our bedrooms when we went back home (back in the good old days, when I was totally tote-able).
My sister and I saw this pajama plan differently. Possessing the early pangs of peer pressure, we knew we'd be dragging our little brother up to the well-lit swings and sliding boards in front of 50-100 cars full of our fellow movie fans. Statistically, it would be next to impossible not to have a classmate or two in one of those cars. Apply Murphy's Law to the mix and the one classmate present would be the biggest taunting jerkasaurus the Austintown School System ever created. Days later, I'd likely find myself in the elementary school lunch room, trying to enjoy my mystery vegetable and mashed potatoes with hamburger gravy. In full view of all my dorky, prepubescent, glasses wearing peeps, the cry of the jerkasaurus would ring out with some insult that involved the phrase "at the movies in your jaaammmmiiieeeessss!"
Because I never did fall asleep, I was privileged to see some movies that I didn't understand and I'm sure no one ever planned for small kids to see - like Sonny Corleone getting wacked in The Godfather...Linda Blair's head spinning like a top in The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby. Later in life, I would view those flicks again and the full realization of how much I didn't understand was pretty amusing to grown-up me.
Rosemary's Baby was scary, though. Her baby was a little devil and I worried about Rosemary's family dynamic. What happened after the movie ended? When I was a kid, you have to know that I sort of thought the story went on...we just didn't get to see it, because it wasn't filmed (I worried about Fredo from The Godfather all the time; he was just a poor decision maker in the Mafia world).
Poor Rosemary! That mama had to finish raising that little demon; he has to have his diaper changed (does he have a tail?) and go to preschool...then elementary school. I worried that Satan Jr. wouldn't have friends, which just seemed un-Christian. I mean, I don't want to encourage him to be accepting of his devilish lot, it's not his fault he had a bad start. Perhaps me and my friends could be positive influences ("Stay away from the neighbors and your step-dad...they got you into this mess.")
I'd act out these scenarios in my own way by playing Rosemary's Barbie. I'm fairly certain that Mattel was never going to come out with that special edition Barbie, so I made do with helmet-haired Midge. She was a much less scary baby, and her hair was always perfectly coiffed. The fact that she didn't bend her legs in the baby buggy was attributed to her issues with the cloven one. In most of the scenarios, she went to church with me and decided to try to talk her Dad out of the whole fallen angel, devil career that he had chosen and told him how nice my Sunday school teacher was to her. You know - real life scenarios.
As I grew up (sorta), my bedroom moved to the basement, and the sounds of the occupants of our house and shadows on the windows made me have pretty scary dreams. I'd wake up and see Midge, one of the few dolls I every really played with, on a bookshelf and I'd imagine she had moved a little on her own. Maybe, by playing Rosemary's Barbie, I had cause some bad goo-goo to befall her! Prayers for Midge were offered more than once. I had a very active imagination, but I'm a seasoned prayer partner.
Last year, my mother sent me a package with some cards and pictures she had found. Laying on top of the stuff was Midge, now 50 years old. She hadn't changed much, but she was missing her enviable wardrobe. Her hair was still perfectly coiffed and she was wrapped in black velvet. She's still giving me the weird eye look, though. She sort of stays put now, but sometimes I'm not sure. As Midge silently observes me typing, it's like she wants input into the blog post. I don't think I'm imagining it...considering her fingers never did bend, she's a little condescending about my typos.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Flipping through the news, I'm noticing a trend of stories that are either not newsworthy - by virtue of their increasing frequency - or the old bait and switch, where the headline says one thing, but the content begs to differ.
The headline says: The invitation to Kim Kardashian's wedding was leaked to the press.
Really? Aren't they wealthy enough to look in to some "security"? The Kardashian machine would never let that happen on purpose - why would Kim want anyone to find out about her approaching nuptials? I've long held a theory that the whole Kardashian family's biz is automatically leaked to the press daily, if not hourly. Tell me something new. Have they hooked up a press release that is leaked whenever someone first flushes the toilet in the morning? A leak while you leak automated leak would be news. KK seeking publicity? Whadiya expect?
The headline says: The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened.
NBC's webpage noted "The museum opens almost 13 years after 9/11 to tell the story of the victims and preserve the history of the attacks that killed almost 3,000 people."
The page ran a gallery of somber and heart wrenching pictures of the exhibits... I hate to bring this up, but with all the dough NBC must be raking in, did you really need to put distracting little advertisements between every third picture? Could this one photographic memorial be about memorializing this tragedy - NOT about ad money? Apparently not; whadiya expect?
The headline says: Alex Baldwin arrested for belligerence.
Alex Baldwin was arrested on the corner of 16th and 5th Streets in New York City for riding his bike on the wrong side and being belligerent when asked for identification. This is not news. If anyone wants to know why Alex Baldwin was arrested anywhere, the answer is because he is Alex Baldwin and he gets arrested or irrational on the same schedule as I brush my teeth. I do love good dental hygiene. A real news story would be a timeline marking the number of days that have pasted since Alex was arrested last - and it actually be a number larger than one. I totally expect this.
The headline says: Privacy laws now tougher to follow.
Healthcare companies are really having a tough time following strict patient privacy rules.
After years of seeing everyone's information plastered on the Internet, government top secrets exposed, a trend of unfortunate naked selfies (that should never be shared with anyone other than psychiatrists), moronic self-injury plastered on YouTube and actual companies that will connect the dots and gather up info like a private detective, this seems like lightweight news. Sorry, but I have to ask this question: did you still think you still had privacy? Whew! Good thing you read that thinly veiled preemptive warning.
Coming next month: Huge amount of healthcare data compromised. Executives declare, "We knew this was going to happen." Whadiya expect?
The headline says: A bill to renew tax breaks clears hurdles.
Fifty tax breaks for businesses and individuals are set to expire, and so the heading proudly announced that the bill had cleared hurdles. That sounds like the bill will be renewed! Oh, wait...it also says that Congress "voted 96-3 to open the debate on the bill." Wait - debate? I thought it cleared hurdles? Whadiya expect? Having cleared hurdles...now it has more hurdles. That's all.
The headline says: European Courts says Google must listen to privacy concerns.
In Europe, they actually think people have the "right to be forgotten." They feel their citizens should be able to compel the big search engines to remove information about them. The article goes on to say that the court decision would apply to other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc.
I wonder if the European courts could talk to the American healthcare companies and give them some guidance about holding on to personal information long after they have processed claim data. Maybe the best way to keep a leak from happening is to empty the bucket before it happens? Because you've got all our biz, man. Unless your whole business is security, you're gonna mess up one day and it will never be a patient file, it will be an entire server full of private information. Whadiya expect?
Another online article from Time magazine states that "Americans will never have the right to be forgotten."
What? Europe isn't allowed to have a "right" we don't have...right? We're a much cooler country. We need the right to be forgotten, if not for ourselves, then for the next generations of goofballs who will have to read the continued antics of the Kim Kardashians and Alex Baldwins of the world. The time will come when we will need to forget KK and AB. Wait - just look at the time; it has already passed! It's like a quarter past time to forget Kim and Alex.
This might be news: the ever rising need to forget a whole lot of things. Didn't expect that one.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Why do I watch the news? It only ends in heartbreak.
Oh, Resveratrol, how could you betray me? In my heart, I had such high hopes for you! You were the reason I believed the experts who told me that a diet high in fat and cholesterol was magically and inexplicably beneficial, if only I accompanied it with wine bearing sweet, sweet Resveratrol, the substance that made all French women look like French women (I'm told that is a good thing).
I'm one run-on sentence from weeping at the thought of it all. But there's more...
Resveratrol, why did you have to drag chocolate into your false tale of health and age-defying ability? Children crave bunnies made of chocolate. Housewives cling to hidden chocolates carefully stashed behind the baking soda and spices on the bottom shelf to the right of the stove...oh, wait...NO! I must be talking out of my head! To clarify, there is no chocolate in any cupboard near any "alleged" baking soda! I'm under duress from the sting of the Resveratrol betrayal.
Dr. Richard Semba, you seem like a good man...how could you lead such a study? Who attacks the long held notion that alcohol (wine) and sweets (chocolate) pave the path to health - and expects the public to embrace the news? Scientists were the ones who told us wine and chocolate were both good for us! Don't you realize that you may never get another party invite from a woman? We're roughly 50% of the population (and I can massage that statistic to make it say anything I want it to say - don't make me go decimal on you).
Will science bake cupcakes for you, Dr. "Tricky Dick" Semba? That is, if you're not already developing some new mad-scientist-insane study, hellbent on establishing guidelines that do not include something wonderful, like cupcakes, as part of a healthy diet! Look in the mirror and ask yourself if this is the legacy you want to leave behind, with no crumb trail to follow? It's not too late.
Don't try to rationalize my ravings (even I'm not compelled to do so)! Your facts and numbers are a blight on late night snacking. What are we left with now? Tic Tacs, sparkling water and string cheese? How dare you, sir. HOW DARE YOU.
The news anchors tried to soften the blow with a follow up story that claimed swearing is GOOD for you, if you don't do it all the time. Great. Something I don't want to do - how would I take advantage of that emotional outlet? Must I use all the keyboard characters as an outpouring of "suggestive" swearing characters? &#^*@_)*!!! Now that just looks dumb; it's not even mildly providing angst relief and it is accompanied by the reality that in my case those characters represent something like "holy moley" or "aw, man!"
[By the way, I drink coffee from 7 to 9 a.m. I'm not reading the news, watching the morning shows or opening the front door until I'm finished with my coffee. I'm not giving up the coffee, downer scientists.]
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
|Not much...it's like a cave.|
- I'd like to be remembered as the person who discovered the psychological condition known as Naggravation. This condition is prevalent among older Moms, though not limited to their dealings with their children. Once you're aware of it, you'll see it everywhere. It needs a serious case study to legitimize it. Naggravation is when you are totally irritated by a situation or event, but you know that if you mention anything about it you'll get branded a complainer or a nag. The more you try not to think about it, the more irritation sets in. It's downright naggravating.
- There should be a word that describes an onslaught of diarrhea of the mouth that would provide a signal to the offender that says you totally get it (thanks, but don't go overboard. Just so you know, I'm in agreement and you needn't beat this dead horse for hours). I'm suggesting "diarreally." Once you respond with "Diarreally, man!" the appropriate AND polite thing for the other person to do is to halt the diatribe rather than require you to continue validating his/her view with comments, such as "yes, indeed", "I couldn't agree more", "absolutely", "I know what you mean..." and the ever appropriate "Whoop...there it is." There's a lot of questionable grammar and punctuation going on here. Diarreally.
- While watching the movie Gladiator, I found myself saying I thought it strange that Joaquin Phoenix would decide to name himself Leaf or visa versa at one point. Then it occurred to me that half of my life was spent being called Mac, and the other Cherdo. Perhaps it's not so weird...
- I hate things where every kid gets a trophy. If everyone gets a trophy, then what you really need to do to get a trophy is just show up. Then these kids show up, grow up and apply for jobs. People like me would hire them. They'd show up for work...and that is pretty much it. Be stingy with trophies.
- My friends ask me dog questions all the time. Here is the answer I'd like to use for a large number of repeat queries: "If you have had more than two or three dogs that you were unable to train or didn't work out, the next dog you get should be one made by Gund. The dog you get from Gund will sit and stay, pretty much from the get-go. Housebreaking is a breeze. They don't bite and it's okay to let them sleep on the bed. You're welcome, no trouble at all..."
- Yes, you may have seen me standing out in my field encouraging cows to come to me on command.
- No, they are not my cows.
- No, I do not know what I will do with them once they come to me.
- Yes, there will be video. What is more entertaining than a bunch of compliant cows? This blog needs more video to liven it up.
- Who just whispered "diarreally?'
Friday, May 9, 2014
Mother's Day is upon us and it's time to remember some of the less celebrated, but wonderful, things that make Moms so great.
So, before you rush out to order some high priced posies, remember this:
- Your Mom was the first person you ever met.
- Your Mom was probably the only one who ever said something along the lines of, "Oh, by the way, your name is..."
- Your Mom was the first person to really think you were something special, at a time when you didn't do anything to deserve the accolades. How cool is that?
- Your Mom has cleaned your whole body and, most likely, all your body fluids without ever wearing scrubs and gloves...or using a biohazard bag. She's tough.
- Your Mom was the person who would always pick you for a team sport. She'd embarass you with her mad skills, but you'd have a teammate.
- Your Mom didn't judge your fashion choices until you were a double digit age...like 11...
- Your Mom knows all your secrets. Okay, maybe she just knows quite a few of your secrets...but they're safe with her.
- Your Mom will fix your favorite food for you.
- Your Mom always likes your crafts. Macaroni necklaces are received appreciatively.
- Your Mom will not allow your teen years to pass without breaking into song in front of your friends. Maybe even do an impromptu expressive dance. It's wonderful when she stops, though.
Happy Mother's Day to mothers, daughters who are mothers, mothers with mothers, sisters who are mothers, anyone who has a mother, but most of all - my own mother! Someday, somehow, she is gonna figure out what is wrong with her Wi-Fi and this post will be here waiting patiently.
Celebrate them on other days, too, peeps - we're lucky to have them.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
This is a real question for the politically correct: Is there good prejudice?
Let me just say this: I really don't care where a person is from or what your background might be. Your socioeconomic status doesn't mean diddly, either. Sadly, a person's mental health doesn't matter to me...I do love a wackadoodle friend. Eccentric - yes, please. Actually, the loose cannons are almost preferred. Sometimes, to my detriment - like when I am fascinated by a pathological liar's storytelling ability (hey, I'm a trusting sort). You get the picture. Everyone starts out on the same page with me.
The kind of prejudice I'm talking about is the preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. I think there is the potential for good prejudice, in my humble opinion (worth every cent you've paid for it).
And yet, I still second guess my so-called good prejudice.
This concern came over me as I hopped from grocery store to grocery store, looking for oddball ingredients for new recipes. The list included hoisin sauce - that thick, pungent Chinese sauce of the "little g" gods. Checking all possible locations for hoisin sauce caused me to swing past the international foods aisles and sushi bar sections of each store I visited. You just never know where they will hide an international food item. The whole continent will get lumped together. Asian fare will be in the same area whether it is Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Mongolian - or it will be displayed by the sushi bar.
The first two sushi counters had two workers each, very nice and helpful. Neither store, however, had all the ingredients I needed, so I was off to the third store without making a purchase. Arriving at store number three, I walked to the international section. No luck. So I cruised around to the sushi bar near the deli. One individual was behind the counter, but he was bent over getting something from a cabinet and I couldn't really make eye contact and ask him anything, just yet. Looking at the surrounding shelves, I saw green teas, wasabi, ginger, a variety of soy sauces - no hoisin. Sushi was right there in front of me; no reason to fight it. I abandoned the hoisin search and decided to get sushi.
As I stood there, ready to make my selection, I had a question for the sushi chef...and then the guy behind the counter stood up. He was your basic acne-mugged teenager, much like the ones we see at every fast food restaurant in town. The hairs on my arm stood on end and I took a step back. Immediately, I got "wary eyes" and my mind struggled with the thought that the teen might actually be the sushi chef...OSHA, how can this be? I watched him for a few minutes, pretending to shop, all the while thinking, "Wasabi, my eye. If this dude touches rice or fish, I'm out of here."
Silently elation washed over me as the teen quickly turned around and grabbed a mop before going on his merry way. He was replaced by an enthusiastic sushi chef of definite Asian ethnicity.
I realized that I don't want caucasian teen sushi, hereafter referred to as a CTS. Who does? My body language and menu choice was a virtual high-five for the Asian chef. Yeah, buddy, I'm his biggest fan. Isn't this a good prejudice?
Don't get on your high horse now, peeps; I'm not alone. Every store I was in, and noticeably every one I've been in since that day, had sushi chefs that were Asian, if they sold any sushi at all. What are the odds? Mathematically, I think the odds are a one-hundred percent chance that no one ever wants to hire a non-Asian sushi chef, based on my extensive local grocery experience. Logic tells me that there has to be some bad Asian sushi chefs and alternately, there might be really talented teenager fast food workers...no, what am I saying - I reject that. Every sushi guy in town is better than fast food kid when it comes to sushi.
Think about it - CTS just can't be good. Who is going to tell teenaged boys to wash their hands? You know they'll be cutting squid and texting, leaving fish on the counter till it's way above the correct temperature. Teenage rebellion would eventually raise it's ugly head, and then we're stuck with Vienna sausage sushi or hot dog spring rolls. There is no sushi hot pocket.
Carefully consider this: teens never did anything uplifting for the art of tacos.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
1965: As a child, I was the kid with the dimples. Everyone would point this out and touch my cheeks or pinch them; invade my personal face space, in other words. Never, ever, ever (got it?) did I consider this a complement. Maybe I'm just self conscious, but it always seemed like everyone was pointing out the fact that I had a face that was so round and chubby, it just caved in at the cheeks. No real reason to celebrate the dimple, let alone pinch me with unbridled admiration of something that just came with the package, so to speak.
Fast forward to 2014...make this fun; do some sort of cosmic noise representing your trip to present day.
Dimpleplasty is a popular plastic surgery this year, apparently. While reading an article about the procedure on the FOX News website, a Dr. Amiyad Prasad stated. "A lot of time people with round faces will get this done so people think they lost weight because it gives them a more angular face."
Angular? We must not be talking about the same indented derma-bowl that I have on both cheeks (for free, thank you). No one would ever walk up to me and say, "Have you lost weight, or is it just the spectacular dimples?" Perhaps the surgeons were angular, as in "what's your angle?" It's just one more thing you can use to convince a woman she needs desparately for the sake of aesthetics. Turn her over like a piggy bank, and shake out the cash. Shhh...don't mention cost...pain...bruising...less than stellar results. Be fearless and bold for beauty's sake, ladies!!
I'm an anti-dimplite. If this cosmetic "theory" were true, and a dimple was my one stunningly redemptive feature, I would be the first one to exploit it and much more open to divulging the other parts of my body that are dimpled. Borderline bragging, really. I've done the legwork on this topic. Point of fact: dimples are also not making me look slimmer in those mystery areas, either.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The new leash rule doesn't always work out so well. We have a very large yard, and a very long driveway, and before she was taken we just didn't worry about such things. Prior to the December doggle nappin', we would just let her walk around with us or go out in the yard freely. A false sense of security crept in, however. While walking out the back door, we forget that there are new rules in this house about dog restraint and she slips out. Coco is sneaky like that. Most of the time, it doesn't matter at all - she really just wants to be with us. But she still has this fixation on children and they are a constant temptation for her. If she hears them, she wants to run up and get a cordial petting. With warmer weather and louder children outside, the leash is not optional!
But, get a load of this latest dog faux pas...
Coco decided to run up to the street once more. Not gonna point fingers at which family member had let her roam, but the person who wasn't responsible has a name that rhymes with "YOM."
Within five minutes, we jump in the car and go up the driveway to get her (it's a loooong driveway and I can't out run her). She had totally disappeared! We drove down the street, scouring the yards with our peepers, looking for that crazy dog. All of a sudden, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was a truck full of garbage bags...and a brown poodle.
Turns out, that was exactly what it was.
Hubzam thought I was nuts, of course (not the first time), but he turned around and drove back to the spot. In a pickup truck, sitting in the driveway of a neighbor, I see my dog perched among ten or so bags of trash. A teenaged girl stood next to the truck. What in the world?
As soon as the car stopped, I jumped out and walking up to the parked truck, I reached into the truck and grabbed my dog. The teen just stared at me, with no explanation, so I decided I needed to break the ice and say something stupid. "You're throwing away a perfectly good dog, " I remarked with an extra special dose of snark.
I have no idea what their plan was for Coco.
Dogs are weird. People are weirder.
Monday, May 5, 2014
Lucky dog that I am, several people agreed to do just that, so the Reaper appearance is a sure thing, unless they beat me to the dirt nap (crossing my fingers that it's me first!). I'm holding them to it.
This inspired me...
Considering all the possibilities, I'd like to give thought to some other ways to liven up the event - or at least make it a topic of conversation for a while.
If you're willing to help with any of the arrangements, let me know (I can't promise I'll croak any time soon, but it's like life insurance - you plan, just in case).
- Clown Make Up on the Stiff (aka Me). I gotta say, clown make up seems to be a given. Full on, foam nose and clown shoes.
- Karaoke at the front of the room. It doesn't matter how sad you are, everyone gets a chance to snicker at karaoke. That should break the tension, and it's much better than organ music. Juggernaut, this is your job. Reaper, you can go out of character for one song, but don't do the obvious "don't fear the reaper" shtick. This is a classy affair. After your one song, back to Grim Reaper status. If you want, you can carry a tablet and use gestures to ask people their names.
- A magic show. I'll be happy to let the magician use my remains for any part of the show (I'll be done with them); this is a drastic change from my magic show stance in life where I didn't ever want to be volunteered to come up and assist the magician. Magoo will handle that. If there is any way that you can close the coffin lid, and then open it only to discover I'm gone, that would be awesome. Then make me re-appear. Make sure you tell them there is nothing up your sleeves.
- Tag my box, everyone. To make amends for Lie #104: Graffiti is Art, I'm going to ask that spray paint be available for "grief art" on my coffin. Spoiler alert: It's going in a hole. It might not be your breakout piece in the art world. Hubzam: Your job is to shake your head and mumble, "Dang hippies!"
- Boo-hoo ballohoohoon. Instead of signing in, each person will receive their own grief balloon hat to wear during the service. Magoo is in charge of insisting everyone wear the balloon hat, too.
- Somebody bring an accordion. Nothing says confused ethnicity like an accordion. I want to leave people with something to think about after the funeral. Who was she - really?
- No calliope music. Refer to number 1...unless you can get a merry-go-round; in that case, I would be okay with a little carny calliope tunes.
- Solve a family mystery. You don't want people staying too long. Gonzo will handle video. Bring out all the old movies of my dad that we can never show the kids because of the "gestures" he makes to celebrate Christmas. Yeah, kids...that's Papa. Home movies will clear a room every time (and the kids will know why I always turned them off - finally!).
Friday, May 2, 2014
Gonzo is a very active kid and as he gets older, I am trying to always foster - or force - independence. Like all teenagers, he has a tendency to procrastinate on somethings, though once you get him on track, he is fine. Stepping back, I try to just provide helpful comments. Not that anyone listens to them, but I swear the comments are floating around. This must be a woman thing; Dad and son seem to hear each other reasonably well.
Come with me to an alternate universe, where language is skewed and linguistically invisible to mortal men. This is how the conversation goes as my Hubzam (husband) helps him get his stuff together for a scout trip that involves fishing and camping. Though I am in the room, it's like I'm on the other side of the planet:
Hubzam: So, are you ready for the trip?
Me: He has to finish packing up his stuff. Gonzo, I left the email from the leaders on the desk. It tells what you need to bring - there's a whole packet we printed out last week, too.
Gonzo: Yeah, I'm gonna pack tomorrow.
Me: You're gonna pack tonight. I need you to help me set up tables tomorrow.Hubzam: Do you know what you need when you pack tomorrow?
Me: We have a list and I printed an email from the leaders. Pack tonight.
Hubzam: How are you gonna find out what you need tomorrow?
Me: Uh...printout...sitting on the desk...
Gonzo: I don't know, it's just the regular camping stuff, I guess.
Me: You're doing two fishing merit badges. Start packing.
Hubzam: Are you doing fishing merit badges? Do you need to take bait?
Me: Great. We were at a friend's house on the other side of town for four hours...and they raise worms...too late now.
Gonzo: I'll see if I can find out what else I need. I probably need bait.
Me: Printout of email...sitting on the desk... Where are we going to get bait at this hour?
Hubzam: Do you need a fishing pole? I'll bet you need a fishing license, too. Dang. We need to find out for sure.
Me: Email...email...email. Seems like a sure thing, info-wise.
Gonzo: Yeah...I am pretty sure I need the fishing pole, but I'm not sure about the license. You need a license to fish?
Me: As God is my witness, there is a printout of the leaders' email sitting on the desk...Hubzam: Didn't you think you should tell me that you needed a fishing pole sooner? A license, maybe? Sheesh, I'll bet you need a trout stamp...
Me: We're stamping trout now. Can I read the email to you? I'll go the extra mile here.
Gonzo: I didn't think it was a big deal, we have till tomorrow.
Me: Gonzo, you're packing tonight. Honey, don't you have a slew of fishing poles?Hubzam: Yes, I have a bunch of fishing poles, but they all need new line. You should have told me. I can't believe I have to do this at this late date. Dang. They all need new line.
Gonzo: I'm sorry. Maybe I don't need a fishing pole...
Me: Yes, you do. Read the email. Do we need to buy him his own fishing pole? The need for line seems to be a big deal...Hubzam: Why would I do that, I have perfectly good fishing poles? All I have to do is to go Wallymart and get line?
Gonzo: Okay, we'll just do that! No problem.
Hubzam: Do you have any idea of what else you need - after all, we're going to Wallymart?
Me: I'm gonna staple this email to someone's head in a minute. No one goes to Walmart till they read this email.
Hubzam: Why aren't we going fishing more often? All boys and their Dad should fish. That's it; we are going fishing, son. After we change out this line and get our stuff, we going to start going fishing more often.
Me: He is going to pack now...
Hubzam: Do you know how to cast, son?
Me: He never goes fishing, I'm guessing he isn't a pro caster right this minute...go ahead and pack. And take this email, it has information about the trip and what you need to bring!!
Gonzo: Hmm. I think so...
Hubzam: Let's go out in the field and cast.
Me: I'm not packing for anyone and you'll have to pry this email out of my cold, dead hands.
Gonzo: I'll bet there's an email. I'll check.
True story. 'Nuff said.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
I teach some classes for homeschoolers, and usually I'm ready for a break at this time of year. In my mind, I tell myself, "I need some time with my peeps!" So much time and focus goes in to the class prep, traveling to co-ops, fundraisers...whew! I loose track of adult friends.
More and more, however, I am certain that my real peeps look like this:
Thank you, peeps! We had a great year.