Saturday, March 30, 2013

Old Fart Denial

I perused the bulletin board while I waited in line at my neighborhood coffee shop this morning. On it, I found an interesting flyer advertising an evening of dancing to Motown tunes. An old photo of the Supremes caught my eye. For a second or two, I actually thought this might be something I’d be interested in. Then I read who was holding the event - the local community senior center. OMG! I couldn’t get the picture of a bunch of old people jitterbugging to Marvin Gay out of my brain. Thoughts of walkers and canes stomping to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” almost made my head explode. I would have been totally devastated if the music had been disco. That music is my guilty pleasure, and is alive and well and living in my iPod. When I was in my 40’s, a woman asked if I considered myself middle-aged. When I said “No”, she asked just how old I expected to live to if I wasn’t halfway there. Made me stop and re-think where I stood in the whole scheme of things. Lately I have noticed the music being played at the grocery store is from the 1970’s. I was thoroughly enjoying what I was hearing until I realized My Music is now Muzak. Is it also being played in elevators and as hold music on phones? Except for a few wrinkles and hair that’s more salt than pepper, I don’t really feel that ancient. I’m more like a really rickety 25. I never discussed the aging process with my parents, so don’t know what their thoughts were. I was too busy being young to worry about ever getting old. I’m sure they weren’t thrilled, but don’t remember them mentioning it. Maybe they thought there was no point. Everybody does it, whether they like it or not. That’s not the way I roll, however. I lead my life in total denial, and it seems to work for me. Until something like that flyer stops me in my tracks. I hope I’m still around in 30 years when the grocery store is playing today’s rap and hip hop on the sound system. Ha, that’s worth sticking around for.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


For those who don't know, G.P.S. stands for God-Please-Save-me-I'm-hopelessly-lost-and-really-really-hate-when-that-happens. Four years ago, my son and I flew to Boston and rented a car for the 2.5 hour drive to White River Junction, VT. We were there to scope out Ben's future school, the Center for Cartoon Studies. I rented a G.P.S. unit for the drive, which proved to be crucial. Greta (name I gave to the G.P.S. lady voice) did an excellent job getting us to Vermont and back to Boston. We ticked her off once when we made a diversion in search of a latte, but she got over it in true mechanical fashion ("Recalculate!"). Ben was a great co-pilot and calming force. Without him and Greta, we would still be lost in a tunnel somewhere in the bowels of Boston. A few months later, we moved Ben to school. Rick, Ben, Molly and I retraced the previous trip with a borrowed G.P.S. unit. This time, the unit had a dude's voice, which I christened Gaston (I decided he was French Canadian, even though he had no discernible accent). We made it safely to Vermont without getting lost. Getting back to the Boston car rental location, however, was my driving nightmare come to life. Apparently, we took the wrong exit from a Boston bridge. Gaston seemed confused, but insisted that we were the dumbasses. We drove in circles for an hour, and passed through both sides of a toll road. I was hyperventilating and on the verge of tears, with my fingers imbedded in the door armrest, when Gaston finally got his act together. I wanted to kiss the ground when the car finally stopped, but was too embarrassed. Plus I didn’t want gravel stuck to my lips. I sent a mental thank you to the G.P.S. gods, and will hire Greta next time. And to Gaston - You have been banned from Boston, Vermont, and all points in between. Au revoir.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Going Around In Circles

I’ve never understood the fascination with watching stuff going around in circles. Take NASCAR for instance. As far as I know, a bunch of cars drive really fast in a circle. I have never delved into these races, so if there is more to them, I apologize. They just seem silly, and kind of boring. Maybe the draw is hoping for a horrendous crash. I went to a hockey game once with a friend. The crowd seemed to only perk up when there was a fight. It was amazing to watch. Also, we were sitting behind a deaf couple who yelled at the refs and players via sigh language. I found them way more fun to watch than the game. But I digress... The Olympic short track speed skating event is another going-around-in-a-circle sport. Unlike a car race, I find it too suspenseful to watch. Definitely not boring, but I still don’t enjoy it. One Christmas, my sister and I got a little train set. It had an engine and a few cars, and simply chugged around in a circle. After the first few times it went around the track, I lost interest. We piled our troll dolls on the train cars, which was amusing for a few rotations. Then, I was bored again. Finally, I went all Snidely Whiplash and put one of my trolls on the tracks. I didn’t need to tie her to the tracks. I just laid her across and waited for the carnage. The little train didn’t drive over her. It hit her and stopped, and then tipped over. Not what I expected, but interesting all the same. I think at that point I was done with train sets. I’m sure there are many more spectator events involving some sort of track that would have the same snooze factor for me. Maybe I expect too much, or am high maintenance. Or maybe I’ve missed a concept that the rest of the known world seems to appreciate. Guess my membership card got lost in the mail.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cannibal Cop

A New York policeman was recently convicted of conspiring to kidnap, rape, torture, kill and then eat women. Eat what a psycho. Talk about your war on women! For starters, it seems like a waste to cook a whole person for just one guy to eat. A human body seems more like party fare, or perhaps Thanksgiving dinner. However, he probably couldn’t fool people with the “interesting’ drumsticks. My mom tried to serve us rabbit one time, telling us it was chicken. The drumsticks tipped us off that she was fibbing. It seems to me that police officer applicants go through psychological screening before being hired. How did this guy slip through the cracks?

Q - How do you feel about working with women?

A- I'd rather eat them.

Q - Can you work well with a partner?

A - Guys? Yes. Women? I’d rather eat them.

Q - If we hire you, what can you bring to the table?

A - A knife and fork and a woman to eat.

This guy had statistics on some women. One of the things he noted was bra size. I’m not sure if he preferred busty or flat-chested meals. Maybe this was important to the mathematical equation of how big of a pot to use. Extra boobage could upset the whole process. I wonder what type of seasonings he had in mind. What beverage goes with Fricasseed Female? Red, white or perhaps a nice dessert wine? Potatoes or rice? So glad this guy is going to be locked away. I hope he will be assigned to license plate or laundry detail and not kitchen duty. He just might be forced to look at men a whole new way... Baked or fried?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

TSA - WTF???

I want to give the head of the TSA, John Pistole, a big old knuckle sandwich. He has decided to allow small knives back on airplanes. This way the screeners can focus more on bombs. WTF??? There is serious douche-baggery going on here. Is he a shill for the Swiss Army Knife consortium? He’s also going to allow a multitude of things that could bash in a skull - hockey and lacrosse sticks, novelty bats, billiard cues, ski poles and two golf clubs. Oh, I have soooo many questions. First of all, just how do these articles fit in a carry-on bag? I’m mystified. Allowing two golf clubs per person seems really odd to me. I’m not a golfer, but it seems like most players lug a whole bagful of clubs with them. I know there are woods, and putters, and chippers, and maybe something called a niblick. So, you’re going on a golf vacation. You have all your clubs out. “Mommy can only take two of you on this trip. I’m taking Chipper and Woody. Next time I can take two others. Be good. Mommy loves you!”. Like I said, I’m not a golfer. After all the security hoops we’ve had to jump through for the last ten years, now we’re just supposed to feel fine and dandy about people with knives and clubs? It will be interesting to see if the first bad incident will be from a knife-wielding terrorist, or raging drunk with a sports stick. Can we even things out and fit the flight attendants with brass knuckles? Mr. Pistole says that we’ve always had things onboard that could be used as a weapon. These would be wine glasses and forks. Give everybody plastic cups and sporks and that problem is solved. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this change is occurring. I haven’t heard whether we will still have to take off our shoes in the security line. Are we still going to be required to cram all our stupid 3 ounce bottles into a quart bag? This makes no sense. How exactly are the TSA agents going to “concentrate on bombs”? Listen for ticking? This man needs to go... on a long flight sandwiched between an intoxicated wife beater and cranky Swiss Army Knife salesman. Oh and make sure he gets the body cavity search first, 'cause you never know...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bad Dreams

My self-esteem took a bit hit this last week - in my dreams. I’m not sure why this happened, but I really don’t need it. Viewing myself in a positive manner has been a life-long struggle. I try to work on it, but have a long, long way to go. I really don’t want to worry about being a downer in my dreams. As it is, my dreams are populated with bizarre scenarios that rarely make sense. I don’t want to start dreading bedtime. In the first bad dream, I came out of store dressing room wearing spandex leggings. I looked in a full-length mirror (undoubtedly lit by harsh lighting) and was horrified to see cellulite from my waist down to my ankles. The craters were so huge you could see them through my pants. They could probably be seen from space. The next night, I dreamed I was driving my car across the softball field at my old high school. The fact that I was driving there didn’t strike me as odd. Up ahead I saw a guy I’d gone all through school with. Before I could grab an Altoid out of the console of my car, he came up to my window and kissed me hello. Then, I apologized for my breath. Weird. Last night I dreamed I looked in the mirror and saw that my hair was thinning out. You could see my scalp all over the place. This dream, at least, made sense. Before bed, I had been petting our dog Lucy, whose fur is getting really, really thin. I guess I was the human equivalent of her in my dream. So in a week’s time, my dream personae has had horrible cellulite, bad breath, and is going bald. I woke up depressed and feeling not-so-pretty. It’s hard enough to work on changing my outlook when I’m awake. Do I also have to fix myself in my dreams? No wonder I wake up exhausted. Damn! I’m my own parallel universe. What’s in store for me tonight? I’ve had terrible allergies this week - itchy eyes and a plugged up nose. I’ve been sleeping with my mouth gaping open, making gawd awful noises. Perhaps tonight’s movie in my head will tackle the unattractive sounds. Maybe I will be wearing a Zorro mask over my itchy eyes and have a tuba for a nose. Zzzz...honk.

Monday, March 11, 2013

If I Were Invisible

My mind was wandering today, as it does. I said to myself “Self, what would you do if you were invisible?”. This was something I’ve always thought would be awesome, but put on the spot, I didn’t have an immediate answer. In the seven Harry Potter books, the Invisibility Cloak was my favorite thing. I so wanted to go to wizard school and get me one of those. So now, faced with the question, I had no ready answer. For sure, I wouldn’t do anything illegal or mean. I’m not that kind of person, even in my fantasies. I would, though, be mischievous and maybe just a teensy bit not nice. For starters, I’d visit my least-favorite checker at the grocery store. She is a Debby Downer, very negative and mutters about what her co-workers are doing that she doesn’t like. A real biatch. I think the Invisible Me would thump her on the head a couple times or maybe pull her bangs a bit. It might be fun to find a swimming pool where kids are playing Marco Polo, and holler a few of my own Polos. For sure, weapon-toting NRA guys protesting gun reform would mysteriously be missing their bullets. Tee hee. My current invisible fantasy involves a trip to the Vatican. I would find my way to the Holy Smokestack, which is awaiting the magical voting for the new pope. I think it would be awesome to dump a bunch of pink glitter into the works just to mess with the results. Imagine all the people eagerly awaiting the mystical results to come out of the chimney. Black means no results, white means there is a new pope. There is nothing on the books about pink glitter. It might shake things up a bit. How cool would that be? Chaos all around, while I smile to myself in all my invisible glory. Still not mean, it’s only glitter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What People Earn

Parade Magazine came out today with its annual “What People Earn” feature. I can’t decide if I like it or hate it. It definitely doesn’t make me feel good about my salary. There are a few jobs listed that pay less than mine, but not too many. The highest earners make an obscene amount of money. I’m sure they make more in one day than I make over several years. Here is what I’ve learned from the article:

- Clowns only make $2,500 per year. I spend more than that at the vet in a year. Scratch this one off my list. Plus I don’t even like clowns. I suspect their makeup gives you zits.

- There is still a huge salary disparity between men and women. Brad Pitt - $35.5 million vs Anne Hathaway - $10 million. I don’t believe he has an Oscar, but she does. His sweetie is Angelina Jolie (ick), so maybe he isn’t that fortunate after all. 

- Quarterback Tom Brady makes $23 million. He and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen have built a $20 million home. They blew almost their whole wad on their house. How are they ever to live on a mere $3 million? Oh the humanity... 

- Reality star Honey BooBoo makes $50,000. She is 7 years old. When I was that age, I didn’t even have an allowance. Nobody wanted to follow me around with a camera either, but still. I just don’t get it.

So, from this article, I’ve decided what to do if I want to be enormously wealthy - I need to become a professional basketball player, with a fragrance and basketball shoe line. Also throw in a reality show when I’m not charging $100,000 per personal appearance. Then, I will finally be able to replace the screen door on our back porch. Cha ching!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I saw a little donation box today, benefiting starving children somewhere in a Third World country. It was a Lent-related item, and got me thinking back to how Lent used to work when I was in elementary school. Back in those days, we also had fund raisers for starving children. This was before political correctness was invented, so we referred to these poor kids as “Pagan Babies”. Seriously... Pagan Babies! How condescending and wrong was that? We felt so awesome collecting money for these impoverished children. I’m not sure we knew what “Pagans” were. Whoever they were, poor misguided souls, they just didn’t know any better. They obviously needed to become Catholic as much as they needed a hot meal. There was usually a competition between girls and boys that drove the fund raising. I’m sure we totally lost the point of the whole thing as we concentrated only on obliterating the other team. I remember winning a skateboard during a Lenten raffle one year. I ended up breaking my arm while riding it about a week later. This could possibly have been a sign, but I’m not sure of what. Might have been a Divine Message to cease and desist already with the Pagan Baby moniker. We always had to give up something during Lent. The default item was always candy. I think the only time we had candy was when we visited our grandmother. She had a candy dish that was always full of some sort of hard candy. Someone decided that weekends during Lent didn’t count, and were exempt from whatever we were living without. Hmmmm... I wonder who thought up that special clause. I suspect it wasn’t a real rule, but I wasn’t about to argue. I don’t think giving up candy was that much of a hardship for me. It counted though, if I was questioned about what I was giving up. Nowadays, if I were so inclined to play the Lent game (I’m not), I would probably give up something I didn’t really like anyway. Like calamari, thong underwear, or karaoke. I would most likely get cosmic noogies for this, so am better off just not playing. Hey... I think I just gave up Lent for Lent. Is that cheating?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Canada is getting rid of its pennies. I don’t have anything against pennies, but nickels annoy the hell out of me. I wish I knew why. My brain doesn’t work like most people’s. In my mind, coin denominations should be in direct proportion to their size. Therefore, dimes should be pennies, pennies should be nickels and nickels should be dimes. I’m not sure if Susan B. Anthony silver dollars are still around. I don’t like them because they are too close to the size of quarters. Plus, I don’t like her hairdo. I wouldn’t cry if the US Treasury put pennies out of circulation. Nickels don’t do much good, and just take up extra space in my wallet. My dad used to have a really cool nickel slot machine. He had a little pill bottle where he stored his nickels. Every morning, he would play a few. It used to tickle me to see him in his jammies, gambling in his family room. I look back fondly on that memory, but it still doesn’t make me like nickels. When I was a senior in high school, some enterprising guys put a desk in the doorway of the boy’s bathroom. A sign on the door read “World’s Biggest Turd - 5 Cents A Look”. I was intrigued. I was sort of curious about the inside of the boy’s bathroom, but wasn’t sure I really wanted to take a gander at the enormous pooh. Plus, I probably didn’t have a nickel. The principal came by, paid his nickel, then shut down the operation. I’m not sure if he took a look, but I like the way he handled the situation. No detention, no yelling, he just put the entrepreneurs out of business. I think nickels are only good for admission to look at turds, and that opportunity doesn’t come up that often. Pennies, nickels, and Susan B. should go on a long holiday to wherever Canadian pennies are going. Some coinage dude ranch or spa, where they can just fade away...