Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Halloween candy is for trick or treaters."

I do give some of my candy stash to the cute little people who stomp to the door all glossy-eyed from their sugar highs and the power to demand stuff from grown-ups. How cool! Their parents are always warning them not to accept candy from strangers, but on this one night, they can threaten strangers with malevolent antics if they don't fork over some of the sweet stuff. Anyway, every year, I estimate the number of neighborhood trick-or-treaters, multiply the number by 12, and purchase that amount of snack sized chocolates, plus a few extra. Curiously, I always end up with a surplus--enough to last 'til Easter, when I seem to amass extra hollow chocolate bunnies with names like Sunny and Iris that make me feel a twinge of anthropomorphic-ized guilt as I bite off their heads.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Democracy is the best form of government on earth."

I'm not so sure anymore. I started to have doubts about democracy when G.W. Bush was first "elected." Polls said a lot of Americans voted for him because they thought he'd be more fun to have a beer with. They seemed to have confused Frat President with President of the US of A. They when they voted for him again, I became even more dubious about the form of government the ancient Greeks coughed up and the founding fathers got so stirred up about. You'd think Americans would have learned that choosing someone based on who you "relate to" didn't work out so well over the last 8 years. But now I hear people are all enthused about Sarah Palin because "she's a hockey mom!" "She's like me!" As for me, I don't want a president-in-waiting like me. I want someone more informed than, more experienced than, smarter than, more stable than, and with better leadership qualities, judgment and political skills than I have. This whole "like me" appeal of a candidate is scarier than Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. It seems like some really contagious narcissism virus that's a lethal threat to democracy.

Friday, August 8, 2008

“Chocolate cake”

That’s what the label said. I was on the lookout for a cake to celebrate the birthdays of my son and nephew when I spotted one in the bakery case at the supermarket. It resembled a hamburger and roll, with protruding green and red frosting as the lettuce and tomato. Next to it were long pieces of yellow cake (the fries) and a clump of red frosting (the ketchup).

I couldn't move my cart. I gawked at it like a highway accident, and my thought process went something like this: That is ridiculous! It’s so ridiculous, I should get it. No, it’s stupid, and will taste mediocre, at best. Oh! They have yellow and chocolate versions. I’ll get two!

The kind bakery worker offered to write birthday greetings on both cakes. Yes! Mission accomplished, and I could avoid my planned stop at a real bakery. The night of the party, I asked my daughter to help light the candles. When I revealed the desserts--with some pride, I might add--she actually fell down laughing (and clutched her chest, which was a bit alarming). We eventually composed ourselves and carried the candlelit burgers to the table set for 11. The off-key singing was interrupted by explosions of laughter at the grotesque yet somehow charming dual confections. Orders were taken for yellow or chocolate. My son cut the yellow cake first, then sliced into the one labeled chocolate. It was yellow! Through tears and snorts of hilarity, we discussed the possibility of bringing it back to the store for a refund. The plan was ultimately rejected when my husband pointed out that we would likely be offered a replacement chocolate cake, and who would want that? We didn’t want to eat it; we just wanted to laugh at it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Caller ID is the greatest invention since...panini."

Well, sure, it's handy...when I use it. But whenever I get someone's voice mail, my natural/nurtured paranoia sets in: "She's screening my calls. I just know it. I never should have said the dress made her look like a UPS truck."

Monday, June 23, 2008

“The Death Penalty is a Deterrent to Crime.”

Really?…Here’s a scenario…I’m in a drug and alcohol-fueled murderous rage...I’m about to pull the trigger, but suddenly I remember that I live in a state that might put me to death instead of a state where I’ll be locked up for the rest of my I put the gun down and walk away? I don’t think so. Not only is deterrence total psychological hogwash, but states with the death penalty have higher homicide rates than states without it—according to The New York Times, 101% higher! Around the world, 131 countries have abolished the death penalty. And the company we keep? In 2006, 91% of all executions took place in just six countries: China! Iran! Iraq! Pakistan! Sudan! and...drum roll...the U.S. of A! I say, let's kill the death penalty!

Monday, June 2, 2008

“I’m leaving to spend more time with my family.”

Why do THEY even bother saying that? Everyone knows when people invoke The Family, it means they were sent packing for doing something really sleazy. But they do the dance every time: The sleaze-of-the-week is introduced in laudatory terms by the very party who told him to get out NOW! to avoid further toxic association with the disgraced resignee, who then slouches to the microphone and mumbles the lame line about “my family.” What, are we supposed to believe the guy woke up that day and said, “Oh no! I just remembered! I have a family!” The only one who could have legitimately said he was quitting to spend time with his family is Dennis Kucinich. Any day now, his way-hotter-than-he-is wife might look at a photo of the two of them and wonder what she was thinking.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"I'll be brief."

When someone announces this, you may as well make yourself comfortable, put your feet up, get out your knitting, and take a couple of Valium because you are in for a saga. People truly economical with words never say things like, "I'll be brief" or "To make a long story short." First of all, saying those phrases takes an extra 2 or 3 seconds right there. You know what I really hate? When speakers spend the first 5 minutes of their speeches telling you what they're going to tell you. Just tell me! Then they run out of time at the end, before they get to the point--if there was one--because they spent so much time on the "and then I'll briefly go into a little bit about..." Aaaarrrggh. Oh, and if you ever answer the phone and someone asks, "Do you have a minute?", you can be sure you'll be on that phone until the battery is in rigor mortis. Which I suppose is why caller ID was invented.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Don't worry; my dog is very gentle."

People often say this as their dog's teeth are gripping your ankle. They make it seem as if you are paranoid when their beloved beast bares its teeth, foams at the mouth, and glares at you as if you eat puppy burgers. The worst was when my kids were toddlers. We'd be out for a walk, and suddenly, some menacing creature way taller than a toddler would bound over to us. I mean, wouldn't you be a little intimidated by a 4-legged, muscular, barking thing that towered over you and was clearly not in the control of its delusional owner? But said owner inevitably says in the cloying, little voice you use when you talk to an infant, "Oh, he's very gentle. Bruiser would never hurt anyone. Bruiser just wants to play!"

Friday, May 9, 2008

"White people can't dance."

False! Take moi, for instance. I am white, and I happen to be a very good dancer. I have some serious moves, especially when I morph into Mick Jagger, who learned to dance from Tina Turner. But I'm not planning to put a video of me dancing on YouTube, so you'll just have to take my word for this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

"Computers are labor-saving devices."

Only if THEY mean "saving labor," as in "allowing you to seem to be working when you're really not." How do I know? Because on weekdays my inbox is three times as full as it is on weekends. When people are at their “jobs,” they somehow find time to report on their doings, forward mildly amusing jokes, and send dire warnings that snopes says are FALSE! in big red letters so you feel like a total dork if you believed them. Admit it…you’re reading this “at work,” aren’t you?

Friday, May 2, 2008

THEY say…"Parents teach their children."

Maybe they teach them a little bit. But my children have taught me way more than I’ve taught them. When I mentioned that I was planning to start a blog because I was the only person in the world not to have one (see, I didn’t know about my I-lost-track-of-how-many-times-removed cousin in Detroit then, see April 17th post) my children said in the same tone I warn them never to get in the car with a driver who’s been drinking, and if they ever need a ride in such circumstances, to call me, and I’ll pick them up—no questions asked—hoping they never will actually call me because I’d probably be too conked out on Ambien to answer the phone, or I’d answer and yell incoherently that this was NO TIME TO CALL SOMEONE!—-my children said in rare unison, “You should have a blog, Mom, but DON’T put ANYTHING on your blog that you wouldn’t want the WHOLE WORLD to see!” They said this in such solemn tones that I thought they’d make me take an oath. So I assured them that I would not, for example, think of writing about that really crazy Halloween party--oh man, I just guffawed remembering it--their father and I showed up and…oops, end of story, I took an oath.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Still Not Beyoncé...

All right, I have more to say about the last post. Anyone who’s watched the preliminary rounds of American Idol knows the “follow your dream” claim is bogus. Most of the head cases Fox trots out for worldwide humiliation are not going to make it in the music business. They can follow their dreams all they want, but they’ll still be singing off-key and possibly suffering from syndromes described in the DSM-IV*. Besides, if everyone’s dreams came true, Major League Baseball would need a lot more expansion teams, and who would want that besides ESPN?
* Fine, I’ll tell you: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Friday, April 25, 2008

THEY say…"You can be anything if you follow your dream."

This is a crock! For years I’ve been closing my eyes and imagining myself looking like Beyoncé Knowles. But when I open my eyes and sprint to the mirror, I find out that I’m still a slightly overweight, bow-legged, 5’2” white woman.

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Pregnancy clears up acne."

That’s what my mother assured me. More than once, too. This turned out to be a bold, acne-faced lie that she told just so SHE could be a grandmother. I believed her, and soon I was waddling like an under-study for one of the stars of The March of the Penguins and a face full of zits.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

THEY said, "Everyone has a blog except you."

At least, that was the impression THEY gave me. Now I find out that my I-lost-track-of-how-many-times-removed cousin in Detroit does not have a blog. So now I have a blog. This is only my first post, but I think I like it!