Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Freakin' New Year

Christmas came and went a few days ago. Now the ramp-up to New Year’s Eve is in full swing. There are commercials on TV featuring stupid 2013 glasses and hats, with really bad actors pretending to party the night away. Pretty lame. I’ve never understood the concept of drinking and partying at the change of the year. Are you saying good-bye to the old year or hello to the new one? I don’t drink liquor, and the last thing on earth I want to do is be around drunk people. Definitely not my idea of a good time. My mom always made us go to bed super early. Therefore, we were in bed hours before the magical dawning of the new year. One year, I was determined to be up at midnight. I smuggled a couple of lids from Mom’s pot and pans and hid them under my pillow. Then I set my alarm for 11:55 PM. When my alarm went off, I took the lids out to the kitchen and banged them together. The noise was jarring. My parents might have already been in bed. I don’t remember. I probably scared the crap out of them though. It was then I formed my opinion of the lameness of New Year’s Eve. Funny hats, liquor, and noisemakers... hmmm. Seriously, I’d like to chat with whoever invented this way of celebrating a milestone (or the end of a milestone... still confused about the whole thing). I just saw a news story about local Seattle police imploring the public not to shoot their guns off at midnight on New Year’s Eve. OK, now we’ve gone off the deep end for real. This is just one more reason... a really, really good reason to stay put on New Year’s Eve. I avoid drunks. Now I have to worry about getting shot by some reveler (who is more-than-likely drunk). Bullets and liquor - a bad combination. I will definitely be safely ensconced in my house on New Year’s Eve. I will celebrate by not celebrating like the rest of the dumbasses out there. I might have a cookie or two and park myself in front of my beloved TV. That way, I can usher out 2012 and usher in 2013 with a minimum of effort. Maybe it won’t be special, but nobody will throw up... or worse. Whoopdee freakin’ doo.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Plane Truth

The day after Christmas, I flew to Salt Lake City to attend a funeral. My sister, Mickey, was a flight attendant for over 30 years, and I believe she deserves a medal. When I was a child, flight attendants were called stewardesses. It was a glamorous job. Telling someone you were a stewardess was like saying “Yes, I am Miss America and possibly Miss Universe”. Nowadays, flight attendants include men and the job has definitely lost it’s luster. Perhaps it is the flying public that has changed. Oh hell, the world has changed. Exploding shoes and underpants are only the start. By the time people strip, get their goodies x-rayed or patted down, and get re-dressed, they are pissed. The flight crews also have to endure going through Security, so they are probably also a bit cranky from the get go. It seems like a pretty thankless job to me. They have to know everything from meal service to using a defibrillator. Oh, and getting people off the plane safely in an emergency situation. Definitely not a waitress in the sky. My return flight home last night was on a low frills type airline. I’ve flown on them many times, but last night I felt like I was on a cattle car. I truly expected to see chickens and goats in the aisle. The flight attendant had to repeatedly tell the man next to me to stow his sack under the seat, while he kept asking if he couldn’t just hold it on his lap. Seriously??? The flight attendant looked like she had just rolled out of bed, but held her own with Sack Lunch Guy. An announcement was made that someone with a severe peanut allergy was on board. Therefore, we were asked to put away any we might have. I saw the lady across the aisle pick up half of a peanut that was lying on the floor, and put it in the seat pocket. I worried about that peanut for a few minutes. Was it out of the way enough, or would Peanut Sensitive Person still know? The sink in the back of the plane overflowed, so that had to be fixed before we could take off. Then we had to get de-iced. This stuff probably happens ALL the time. I’m pretty sure my sister thanks her lucky stars every day to be retired. I would, and then I’d kiss the ground.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


As a child, the only thing that could poke a hole in my magical Christmas bubble was the holiday visit from Grama W. She worked in the hat department of a store, so our Christmas gifts usually involved some sort of headgear... hideous, butt-ugly headgear. Before gifts could be opened on Christmas morning, we had to go to Mass, eat breakfast and clean up the dishes. It was pure torture! To alleviate this, my mom would let us open one present before church. Grama W. would insist we open her gift. Sigh. People talk about the scourge of Christmas sweaters. They obviously had never met my grandmother and her hats. We were stuck wearing some of the most heinous creations to Christmas Mass. One year my sister, Kathy, told me Gram was giving me earmuffs. Oh God, not earmuffs! One of my least-favorite classmates wore earmuffs. Just stamp “NERD” on my forehead, and give me an atomic wedgie. I tried to think of any way out of the traditional opening of the ugly-ass hat, to no avail. When I finally opened the present, no earmuffs were there. I can’t remember what was in the box, or why I believed my sister had insider information. I just know it wasn’t earmuffs. One of Gram’s hats had shimmery spangles in red and green. Another little number was like a big shawl on my head with a kind of doughnut circle placed over it. Only Audrey Hepburn could have pulled it off. I was a gangly, bucktoothed fourth-grader. Definitely not your basic movie star type. I was so relieved when the Catholic Church got rid of the Women-Must-Wear-A-Hat-To-Church rule. I was told that females had to cover their heads in church because “a woman’s crowning glory is her hair”. Seriously? Didn’t dudes have a crowning glory... that could be displayed in public? And why didn’t they have to humble themselves? So unfair. To this day, I have an aversion to wearing a hat. This includes earmuffs, which technically, aren’t hats. Only extreme cold or dusty yard work gets me to cover my “crowning glory”. And somewhere in Hat Heaven, Grama W. is passing out celestial beanies

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hug A Tree

Christmas tree lots depress the hell out of me. I drove past one today, and it was FULL of trees. They were bushy, lush, green, vibrant... and doomed. A small forest waited for adoption behind the fence. I wanted to cry. Christmas is only 3 days away, so you know most of those trees will stay put. What a waste! Then what happens to them? People tell me that these trees are raised on tree farms, so having them cut down after years of growing is the natural order. They were meant for slaughter. OK, I know I may be getting dramatic here, but it’s truly how I feel. I guess it’s the same as with animals who are raised to end up on our dinner tables. That also depresses me. Nobody is going hungry, though, if a Christmas tree is left standing in the forest. We haven’t had a real Christmas tree for at least 20 years. My poor kids don’t know any better. They probably think all Christmas trees come in a box. The last live Christmas tree I bought made a big mess and screwed up my vacuum. As instructed, I sawed off the bottom of the trunk and put it in water as soon as I got it home. That did no good, though, and by Christmas that sucker was dried out and turning brown. There were pine needles everywhere, and cleaning them up clogged the hose of my vacuum. So, in addition to avoiding Christmas tree depression, the use of a fake tree is much tidier. Win-win. I feel like I’m doing my part by reusing the same faux tree every year. I will try not to dwell on those poor homeless trees. I need to bypass that lot until maybe mid-January, just to make sure the bodies have been removed. Sigh.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hasta La Vista, Mayans

Tomorrow, December 21, 2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar. I’m still puzzled why this is occurring now but I plan on being here in the morning. Plus, it’s Friday (my favorite day of the week) and Pay Day. I even took a chance and finished my Christmas shopping. I don’t know if the Mayans truly thought the World As We Know It would actually end tomorrow. Here are some theories why the Mayan calendar is ending:

  • Mayans ran out of office supplies. 
  • Mayans ran out of room on whatever surface they wrote or carved their calendars on. 
  • Mayan’s pencil broke. 
  • Head Calendar Dude lost interest, changed jobs, or died. 
  • Mayans figured everything would be digital by now. 
  • Mayans could only count up to 2,012. 

In the event The End really is nigh, I’d like to say sorry to those people I drenched when I drove into a large puddle in 1983. Also, sorry to my 6th grade teacher for drawing an amazingly lifelike picture of her. I meant no harm. Well, actually, I didn’t mean to get caught and have my drawing confiscated. My bad. I regret not mastering riding my unicycle, or learning how to moon walk. Oh, and one more thing... If we’re all still here tomorrow as I expect we will be, never mind.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Schticky Situation

I think I have a knack for recognizing voices. It comes in handy when watching a TV show featuring a guest star who used to be a big deal, but is no longer on the Hollywood “A” List. I have identified numerous former stars when hearing them speak. It might take a while to put the voice to the wrinkled, or in most cases, altered faces. I can usually figure it out though. So, last weekend I had the TV on while I worked on my laptop (by “work” I mean playing Solitaire). A really annoying ad caught my attention, and I realized the spokesperson was none other than Vince Shlomi, the Sham Wow guy. Who could forget that voice? He’s been gone from the scene for a while, after his arrest for punching a prostitute who bit his tongue. Classy guy. I reluctantly watched the commercial, since that voice was impossible to tune out (I guess I was too lazy to hit the Mute button on my remote). Vince is now selling the Schticky Buddy, a purportedly amazing lint roller. As I watched, I realized this ad was full of dirty double entendres. He talked about pussy hair (cat) and playing with his Schticky. OMG! Was I just reading nasty stuff into the commercial, or was Vince openly being sleazy? OK, consider the source. Vince beats up prostitutes...wait, start over... Vince patronizes prostitutes, then beats them up. He inexplicably wears an earpiece the entire time he’s in the commercial. Who is he connected to? Is he taking orders in his head while also shilling for the Shticky Buddy people? According to Wikipedia, Vince has a net worth of $4 million dollars. So, he’s laughing all the way to the bank. Now if I could only figure out a way to make the big bucks from my voice identification skills. I could be the Hear Wow Girl. Hmmm... definitely needs some work.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I was nine years old when the Troll phenomenon hit. For some reason, they were also called Dam Dolls. Not the bad, ooh-I’m-almost-swearing kind of damn. Just D-A-M. I wanted a Troll doll in the worst way. It was a couple months before Christmas, and I couldn’t wait. I thought I would burst into flames if I didn’t get a Troll, pronto. So, I decided to make a girl and a boy Troll. I cut four small gingerbread men shapes out of muslin scraps and basted them together. I don’t remember knowing how to sew, but maybe that’s just how much I wanted a Troll. I sewed two eyes and a dotted line smile on the faces. Then I stuffed and finished them off with dark pink yarn hair for the girl and light pink yarn hair for the boy. My faux boy Troll was a bit malformed, with one arm kind of a shriveled stump. Still, it was better than nothing. I tried to pretend like I was satisfied with my homemade Trolls, but I was less-than-fulfilled. Perhaps my attempt at sewing was for the benefit of my parents - a dramatic cry for help. I’m quite certain Santa Claus got a very specific earful about what I wished for. Christmas Day finally rolled around. I could barely breathe, and the anticipation made my heart pound. While opening presents, I spied a little box... I knew it... I knew it... Wait a minute... What the hell??? Technically, I got a Troll doll. I guess it was a Troll with a beard. It was a Santa Troll. It had sticky-up white hair, but that is where the Troll resemblance ended. This one had a Santa face, with a beard painted on. It also had a red suit and black boots painted on its body. I probably tried to look excited, but I wanted a Dam doll and instead got a damn Santa doll. I eventually got several mainstream Troll dolls for my birthday, as well as a very large Troll bank, who became their mother. So, way ahead of the Brady Bunch, I had a truly blended (Troll) family - Giant mother, weird bearded kid, a black-haired one, a pink-haired one whose hair kept coming unglued, a yellow haired one, and the pitiful homemade handicapped ones. It was a belated Christmas miracle. God bless every Dam one of us

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bite Me

I detest going to the dentist. Now, mind you, it’s not my dentist I object to. He is great and his staff is wonderful. Unfortunately, I have a history of upsetting dental work to overcome. My childhood dentist was in practice with his brother. I have always felt that Dr. Paul lost a bet, and was forced to handle the juvenile patients. He was not a nice man, and I suspect he hated children. The first time I had a tooth filled, he gave me novocaine, then waited only five minutes before drilling. Needless to say, my mouth was not the least bit numb. When I yelped, Dr. Paul told me to shut up and stop acting like a baby. What a dick. My next dentist was fast, and didn’t hurt me. I have had to get all his dental work redone, though, so as a dentist he probably sucked. My current dentist is very patient and caring. Dr. Frank told me I have a problem with certain nerves that are hard to numb. Only 2% of people have this problem, so I guess I’m special. He and his assistants have learned to dodge getting hit in the head with my feet when he hits a nerve. Keeps them on their toes and nobody falls asleep while working on my mouth. Today, I had my teeth cleaned. I greeted my hygienist, then assumed The Position - ankles crossed, hands clenched in a death grip, shoulders up around my ears. I know it was only a cleaning, but I’m a planner and am always prepared for a random stab of pain. With a previous hygienist, I tried doing butt clenches as a mental diversion. Funny thing I discovered - It’s not possible to do butt clenches while your ankles are crossed. I ended up clenching everything from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. I thought I could multi-task and get in shape while having my teeth cleaned. I was wrong. Today I just tried to go to my Happy Place, then realized I don’t have one. Got to get me one of those before my next visit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good Old Boys

It’s not a good sign when one of the first Christmas cards you get is from your auto mechanic. My bad car Karma must have provided a big chunk of the year’s profits to garner a spot on the Christmas card list. I visited the mechanic’s shop numerous times over the last couple of years. I thought I had built up a nice rapport with Michael, the manager. I have always been leery of auto mechanics but Michael put me at ease and was very patient when I asked questions. Then, this weekend we got the Christmas card. Or should I say, my husband got the Christmas card. Rick took my car in for service once, and had a phone conversation with Michael once. Apparently they bonded, because the Christmas card came addressed to Rick. It didn’t even say “Mr. & Mrs”. Just Rick. The car is mine, and I spent a small fortune getting it running smoothly. Yet my name wasn’t on the Christmas card. Rick says I am overreacting at the snub. I beg to differ. (Please oh please let me differ). Many years ago, I took my Subaru into the dealership for some kind of check-up. On my way home, the entire car started to shake. I took it back to the dealership, and of course nobody could recreate the shaking. Then the Service Dude suggested that perhaps I hadn’t been driving my car in the right gear. OMG! He was dismissive and insulting and probably thought I should take my pretty little self home to bake cookies. Serious douche-baggery was afoot. That time, Rick saw the injustice and called the dealership to complain about how I’d been treated. I suppose I should have called myself, but I figured I would just get another pat on the head. As it turned out, though, Service Dude’s boss was a woman. She told Rick the guy had been talked to before about this inappropriate behavior. Awesome! So that one time, the Girls prevailed. Michael included a $20 certificate for future service in the Christmas card. I’ll send Rick the next time my car needs service. That way, maybe we’ll get a $50 certificate next year. If this makes me some kind of a car repair pimp, so be it. I’m just trying to be one of the boys.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Worst Job In The World

Once I moved to Seattle in 1990, I had to look for a job. In perusing the Want Ads one day, I found what I thought had to be the two worst jobs in the entire world. The first job was counting DIRTY diapers for a diaper service. Ick. The other job was at the coroner’s office. The job description said you had to be able to lift dead weight... as in dead body-type weight. It also mentioned being able to handle encountering decomposing bodies, as well as having to crawl under houses to look for said decomposing bodies. Ok, first off, I can barely carry a package of bottled waters from my car to my house. Forget hauling a human. As for crawling under a house... um, hello... spiders! And dirt. I would be freaked out before ever getting to a rotting corpse. So, for twenty 22 years I have thought that coroner’s office job was the world’s worst. Then, this week, another awful task popped up in the news. In Thailand, someone has come up with a way to brew the world’s finest (and apparently most expensive) coffee. It comes from coffee beans eaten and then pooped out by elephants. According to the report, the elephant’s stomach acid breaks down the protein that makes coffee bitter. “You end up with a cup that’s very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee”. Swell. You also end up with a drink that tastes like poop, and costs about $500 per pound. My vote for the World’s Worst Job goes to the person who has to sift through the elephant dung for the coffee beans. Seriously, no amount of tips could compensate for doing that job. I can’t imagine which genius thought making a drink from anything coming out of an elephant’s butt was a good idea. I have no creativity when it comes to the culinary world. I would have made a terrible caveman. It never would have occurred to me to eat a cow or chicken. And what about artichokes? Not on your life. I’d still be sitting in my cave, shivering and hungry, wishing somebody would invent SOMETHING. Next time I think I’m having a bad day, I will remember the poop-sifting baristas in Thailand. Oh ya, I got it good!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mayan Humbug

OMG... I just realized it is less than three weeks until Christmas. As usual, I’ve been in denial since the pre-holiday ramp-up started before Halloween. Christmas isn’t going away, so I’d better shift into shopping mode. Pronto. Or do I really need to? According to the Mayan Calendar, the world will end on December 21st. I’ve never been much of a gambler. Do I trust the Mayans and not shop, since nobody will be around on December 25th? That Rapture dude in California, Harold Camping, was wrong about the end of the world... twice. I believe the first date was May 21, 2011. I had an appointment that morning to get my eyebrows and lip waxed. I was really hopeful the Rapture would happen after I was exfoliated, since I’d hate to get gone sporting a mustache. I didn’t need to worry, though, because
A. the Rapture was a bust
B. I doubt I would have been called Up There anyway.
The second Rapture, October 21, 2011 also didn’t happen. No way would you catch me selling my stuff, giving away the dogs, and waiting to get The Call (or whatever is supposed to happen). Nutball Harold had cried wolf one too many times. After the second Doomsday whoopsy, Mr. Camping apologized for his “miscalculation” and retired. Or maybe he got Raptured outta here. So, I am left in a quandary about whether To Christmas or Not To Christmas. Sigh. What a sad little person I am, rooting for the Mayans in order to get out of all the holiday hoopla. I could leave a note that I got Raptured, and just hide out in the spare bedroom downstairs. With my luck, I’d stumble across Harol Camping, snoring away in the corner chair. Guess I’d better get my bad self to the mall and join in the gift-giving frenzy. Bah humbug... er I mean Falalalala...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

John Travolta's Hair

I got a text message from my sister today, telling me that she just saw John Travolta on The Ellen Show. She said his hair looked like her Ken doll. Exactly! That’s what I’ve been thinking too. WTF? People age, I get that. He doesn’t get hair like that due to the aging process though. There is no explanation for it. I’ve seen that bald spot patch stuff that comes in a spray can. Maybe John used the patten leather or vinyl version. It’s truly the weirdest hairstyle I’ve seen, and that includes mullets and mohawks. Mickey’s Ken doll had a little fuzz to his hair that eventually wore off. It never occurred to us to just paint it back on, ala Travolta. My Barbie had the first non-ponytail hairdo. It was a 1960’s bubble hairstyle and blonde, of course. Her hair wasn’t stylable, so wasn’t much fun. I never bonded with my Barbie. Her permanent high heel feet annoyed me. Mickey’s Ken doll was very boring, stiff, and flat-footed... the opposite of his lady love’s bumps and curves. I had one doll that had awesome hair. Her name was Poor Pitiful Pearl and she was a homely little thing. Her dress had patches on it and she had no shoes. The one thing she had going for her was very thick, luscious hair. I’m not sure that was what her creators were going for. I’m pretty sure you were supposed to feel sorry for her. A guilt trip in doll form! That was seriously a twisted idea for a toy, but one I could totally relate to (Catholic guilt runs bone deep). My Chatty Cathy doll was also blonde like Barbie. I kind of ignored grooming her though, due to the fact that she talked. I couldn’t wait for Christmas the year I got her. Then, once I heard what she had to say, I was bored. I thought more interesting things would come out of her mouth than “I love you”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m sleepy”. She had teeth too, which I’ve always found creepy. I had many dolls throughout my childhood. None of them, including my Trolls had the weird, painted on Travolta hair. With Christmas around the corner, I think he should ask Santa for a little follicle miracle. Or maybe a nice hat.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weather Wussies

For the first time since moving to Seattle 22 years ago, the rain is getting to me. I don’t mind gloom... I actually prefer it. The rain, however has made walking my dogs unpleasant and a real challenge. One of my three dogs, Lucy, is now 12 years old and more than reluctant to go on walks. In nice weather I literally have to drag her. When it’s raining, it’s nearly impossible. The alternative, however, is piles of pooh in my living room. So, rain or shine, I look like a real meanie dragging my doggies around the neighborhood. It appears to me that many Seattlites feel the same way about the elements. I have always been bothered by these weather wussies when it comes to the appearance of a single snowflake. Lately, it seems that rain is also a thing to be feared. My favorite local news station, King 5, seems to have gone off the deep end. The early morning newscast (4:30-5:00 am) has been featuring a reporter motoring around the city to report on weather and road conditions. The camera is usually focused on her face in the front seat, rather than at the End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It happening outside her window. This morning, she was cruising around Seattle, talking about puddles and standing water on the roads. The camera was focused outside the car for a change. Then, the whole thing got really silly. Apparently it was only drizzling outside, so the reporter played an audio recording of how the rain sounded a few hours before, in the middle of the night. Talk about your slow news day. Seriously? It’s rain, and this is Seattle. Do the math: 118.62% + Pi x EMC2 - 4 = puddles, wet shoes and toe fungus. Until it’s raining frogs or fire, the weather won’t peak my interest. Those who are freaked out by the rain need to move to Arizona. It’s almost winter... snow is probably around the corner. Oooohhhh be afraid... and alert the media!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Carnage At Nutcracker Tryouts

I took an interpretive dance class when I was five. There was a box of costumes in the middle of the floor. We dressed in the costumes and danced to music. I have a memory of not wanting to stop dancing when the music ceased. I think my mom had to guide me off the floor, as the teacher wasn’t having any luck. I was eight when I started ballet class with my best friend, Deb. It was the only extracurricular activity I had, and I loved every minute of it. When I was in sixth grade, Deb and I tried out for the Ballet West production of The Nutcracker. We auditioned for the role of toy soldiers. I made it, but Deb did not. Let me just say the ride home from tryouts together was the longest five minutes of my life. The experience of being in a big production, plus performing with professional dancers was incredible. This was a major big deal in my life. The next year, I couldn’t try out for the same part, because I had grown and the parts were determined by height. I had to audition for the role of a Blackamoor, an African slave (probably not a PC term today). This time, Deb had an advantage over me since the main step involved in the audition was Chaines turns (pronounced “shenay”). These turns were my biggest challenge. If ballet steps were school, Chaines turns would be calculus. At tryouts, there were about eighty girls in a large, rectangular room. We were instructed to do our turns from one corner, straight across the room diagonally, to end at the opposite corner. The first time, I went halfway across the room, and somehow ended up back where I started. The second time, I started for the opposite corner, made a right turn, and mowed down the eighty girls waiting in line. Bodies flew against the wall. It wasn’t pretty. Needless to say, I didn’t make the Nutcracker that year. I don’t have any photos from my magical stint as a toy soldier. All I have is a program with my last name misspelled. I'll always have my memories, though.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Extreme Sonicare

I was sorting laundry today, and pre-treating all the yucky spots. I grabbed a sweatshirt of Rick’s and started in with the Shout. He had streaks of toothpaste all down the front, around the neck, and in various places on his sleeves. There was also toothpaste on the BACK of his sweatshirt. WTF? You’d think after 38 years of knowing him, this would not surprise me. Still... how does one get toothpaste on the back of one’s shirt??? I see Rick wander through the house while he brushes his teeth. Somehow he doesn’t drop toothpaste on the floor, but that seems to be the only place left untouched. I bought a Sonicare toothbrush years ago. At first, the whole family used it. Eventually, though, only Rick stuck with it. When he brushes, the whole thing goes into his mouth... even the part that would be shared amongst the family. This may be the reason the rest of us quit using the Sonicare. It’s kinda gross to see Rick brush his teeth, tonsils and Adam’s Apple. He totally gets into the process. By the time he’s done, there is toothpaste on the bathroom mirror, all over his face, up his nose and sometimes in his eyebrows. It reminds me of when my daughter was a toddler. After eating, we would be picking food out of Molly’s hair, off her face, and from between her toes. She wouldn’t stay put in her high chair and liked to sit on the tray. I thought about feeding her in the bathtub, to aid in the clean-up process. Maybe Rick should think about brushing his teeth in the shower. He couldn’t walk as far, but there is a little bit of pacing room. Think of the money we’d save not having to buy Shout so often. As the resident laundress, I think it’s a fine idea.