Behind the Scenes With Famous Diet/Health Gurus

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Weight Watchers: Hmmm, Where’s Oprah? Oh well, I’d like to call this monthly meeting to order please. We have lots of business to take care of. Who wants to raise the first issue of public awareness that we’d like to put out there?
Jenny Craig: I’d like to bring back the idea that three prepackaged meals a day plus one snack in a vacuum sealed bag will promote a nutritious, convenient, healthy lifestyle, and be an effective way to lose weight.
Atkins: I honestly don’t think people will swallow that nonsense anymore. Now that word has gotten out about processed foods — they know to avoid anything that comes in a box or container.
South Beach Diet: And don’t forget many of them have learned to read labels and eschew anything they can’t pronounce.
Jenny Craig:  Eschew?? My, aren’t we fancy? Well I can rename all my ingredients so they only have one or two syllables! Where exactly is South beach anyhow? South of what??
Paleo: Honestly Jenny, public perception supports the research. Everyone wants to start eating like their ancestors did in the olden days, before there was cardboard, cellophane, and Saran Wrap. You know — stuff they can gather naturally, like nuts, berries, roots, and squirrels.
Nutrisystem:  Oh shut up, you stupid Caveman. That’s never gonna trump prepared meals conveniently delivered straight to their dining room table.
Weight Watchers:  Okay folks. I’m gonna table this discussion, (no pun intended) for a moment while we shift from public awareness to public scareness. What’s up with eggs? It’s been a long time since people have panicked over them for cholesterol reasons. Is it time to put that little tidbit out there again?
Pritikin:  Isn’t there a reliable formula for us to decide when eggs are bad? Something that’s over-easy to remember and will scramble all the facts?
SlimFast Shakes: I believe it goes like this: Eggs starts with “E” and that’s the fifth letter in the alphabet which is an odd number, just like 2017. And “Odd” starts with “O” just like “Out” so eggs are gonna be OUT this year.
Weight Watchers:  Perfect, I’ll send a memo to the news channels and talk show hosts and we’ll put the fear of God back into them. Now before we change our advice about eating ‘organic’ food to eating ‘orgasmic’ food, let’s deal with this whole good fat versus bad fat phenomenon, shall we? What are we claiming is the difference again?
Atkins: Every single fat is not just good, it’s utterly fantastic. There are NO bad fats, only bad carbs.
Eat According to Your Blood Type: Well not so fast there, my Good Man. That’s only true if you’re O positive and trying to boss everyone around about carbohydrates. What about the rest of the population with types A, B, AB and . . .
Atkins: Are you stereotyping my blood?
Pritikin: Is that even a thing? And where’s Oprah and her little wagon filled with animal fat?
Atkins: Well just for the record, I definitely don’t have O Positive blood running thru my veins.
Weight Watchers: We’ll take a short break while Dr. Atkins gets a finger prick.
Atkins: Who died and left you in charge?
Weight Watchers: Uh you did, Dr. Atkins. In 2003 to be precise.
Pritikin: And rumor has it, you croaked from a massive heart attack because your arteries were so clogged with plaque. Whatya got to say for yourself now, Mr. FineFat?
Zone Diet: Lay off him. He was killed when he hit his head on the slippery pavement. Everyone knows the real culprit in our modern day diet is sugar. Ask Oprah. Where is she?
SugarBusters: (raises a Diet Coke bottle) I’ll drink to that!
Jared Fogle From Subway Sandwich Fame: So diet sodas don’t cause dementia and strokes like YouTube says? That’s great news because I’ve been telling everyone to order a Big Gulp with their six-inch turkey sub and bag of chips. That’s how I lost 245 pounds….with just six inches.
Paleo: Sure ya did, Jared. Uh, No fricking way.
Weight Watchers: We’ll take a short break while Mr. Fogle steps on a scale.
Dr. Oz: I hate to break it to you, but I recently had Dr. Gundry on my show, of The Plant Paradox Diet and it turns out that everything we thought was healthy for us like tomatoes, eggplant, beans, peppers, etc. actually contain lectins, which are pure poison to humans. Especially those nightshades.
Jared Fogle: Nobody in my family wears nightshades to sleep anymore. I think that went out with Marilyn Monroe.
Weight Watchers: Hush up, Jared. Just mind your own business and hold on tight to that six-incher of yours, ok? Dr. Oz. can this be true? If so, it’s just what we’ve been waiting for. Lectin sounds deliciously ominous and I think it just might work as the new gluten. Wonderful! Alright we’ve got to wrap up here. But before we do, are there any really oddball foods we can promote as the next big thing?
South Beach Diet: I nominate Chia seeds and Bone Broth.
Weight Watchers: Nice work! Chia seeds — the cute 1970’s little critter with the stupid jingle. And Bone Broth — which sounds like something served in a witch’s cauldron at a Halloween Party.
Jenny Craig: Are we sure about this Chia fad thing? How about ingesting pet rocks or mood rings instead? Should we consult Oprah?
Weight Watchers: Nope Jenny, I’ve made up my mind and we’re sticking with Chia seeds and Bone Broth this year. We might be able to do a public service announcement about Pop Rocks, but that’s not a promise. Meeting adjourned. Next month we brainstorm how to break it to them that taking the recommended 10,000 steps a day causes foot cancer. Now let’s get out there and cause some major mass confusion!
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Bored Blogger Turns Classic Rock Songs Into AP News Articles!

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Domestic Violence Sends Guy Into Outer-Space

(Rocket Man)

 

MARS (AP)   Mr. Elton John of Hollywood was allegedly forced to become an astronaut when his spouse packed his bags pre-flight zero hour nine AM. He was quoted as saying, “I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife. It’s lonely out in space on such a timeless flight.” But male friends who knew him well claim he’ll soon be as high as a kite. Asked why his children didn’t accompany him on the trip, John responded, “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact it’s cold as hell.” But thanks to modern technology, rather than a typical drawn-out angry divorce, John will remain a Rocket Man burning out his fuse up here alone. As for any future return flight home, John had this to say, “And I think it’s gonna be a long long time till touch down brings me round again to find I’m not the man they think I am at home. Oh no no no I’m a Rocket Man.” When pressed for an exact date of arrival, his voice echoed and trailed off in a plaintive tone: “And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…And I think it’s gonna be a long long time…”

Black Friday Sale Dupes Woman Into Odd Purchase

(Stairway To Heaven)

 

LOS ANGELES (AP)   An unidentified female victim who was sure “all that glitters is gold” recently bought a Stairway to Heaven. When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for. One witness, a Nordstrom salesperson observed, “There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure ’cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.” Friends expressed concern, citing they never knew the injured party to exhibit shopaholic tendencies. “Maybe she was having an affair with the Rocket Man and this was her only access to reach him,” one neighbor speculated. The woman’s own husband contacted local authorities in the middle of the night to add, “There’s a feeling I get–when I look to the west, Ooooh, and it makes me wonder.” When asked to be more specific, he reiterated, “Oooooh, it really makes me wonder!” Upon further interrogation, including whether his wife ever scoured estate sales or shopped online for other modes of transportation to heaven, the haggard mate of the victim could only recall one instance when his beloved was obsessed with obtaining a lead zeppelin. “Ooooh, and it makes me wonder,” he repeated once again, dazed and confused. “One things for certain … her buying a stairway to heaven means our credit cards will be maxed out for decades.”

 

Pair in Forced Marriage Make The Best of Things

(I Got You, Babe!)

 

PALM SPRINGS (AP)    A young naive couple found out the hard way that being in love isn’t everything. “They say our love won’t pay the rent,” stated Mr. Bono. “Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent,” lamented his exotic looking wife who volunteered only her first name, Cher. The unknown perpetrator of this forced union is wanted in 13 other states for additional human trafficking crimes, but managed to give the couple the following advice before he absconded, “Don’t let them say your hair’s too long, cause I don’t care with you I can’t go wrong.” During times of extreme grief or fear, rather then resenting each other for their lost dating years, the committed duo remind one another, “And when I’m sad, you’re a clown. And if I get scared, you’re always around.” But the main way they’ve sustained their romance has been singing ad nauseam to each other, “I got you, Babe.” Blech.

 

 Labor Dispute Results in Crowded Nightclub Joy

(The Piano Man)

 

NEW YORK (AP)   At 9:00 on a Saturday as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke, or to light up a smoke, seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with the melody they were in the mood for, everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the extreme pressure he felt during this incident.

Depression and Suicide Over Specks of Dirt

(Dust In The Wind)

 

KANSAS (AP)    A former housecleaner with high hopes of reinventing herself as a songwriter closed her eyes, only for a moment and the moment’s gone. All the dreams passed before her eyes — a curiosity. The young female’s parents, who paid for her to go back to college claimed she was still despondent, just sprawling around their 3-bedroom filthy, very drafty house. Asked if the lyrics she created were any good, they simultaneously replied, “Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea. All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see. Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind.” It is suspected that genetics, not allergies to dust/mold,  played a part in the young woman’s inherited pessimism. Her last words scrawled in a suicide note read, “Now don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy. Dust in the wind. All we are is dust in the wind.” Her final refrain was repeated 2X. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Black & Decker, the manufacturer of the cordless Dustbuster.
NOTE: Dear Readers, I’m now taking requests for a Part 2! Or feel free to leave one of your own creations in the comments.
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Are You a “REAL” Writer or Just “Harriet The Spy?”

writing-meme-3Remember the children’s book where an eleven-year-old aspiring writer named Harriet carries around a notebook in which she feverishly jots down personal observations about her classmates, (and the moment-by-moment events that happen to her) in the hopes that one day this practice will assist her in achieving a “real” writing career?

In fact, Harriet WAS already a real writer and WE are all Harriets.  Now here’s how to convince everyone else in your life to view you that way, so you can get the respect all writers deserve.

9 EASY WAYS TO BE THOUGHT OF AS A RESPECTABLE WRITER BY YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY

  1. Forget that the IRS differentiates between writing as a hobby and writing professionally. Everyone knows that IRS actually stands for “Inside Reality Sometimes.” They should recognize everyone as professional writers — how else are we able to pick up a pen and WRITE down the required information in the blank spots on their W-2 forms?!
  2. When someone says to you (in that challenging voice) “If you’re a writer, prove it by showing me something you have published,” you have three choices. 1. LOGIC. Simply retort, “Prove I’m NOT a writer by showing me something that I have NOT published. 2. PSEUDONYM. Tell them your material is highly controversial (and racy!) and thus you prefer to write under an alias. If they press you for your Pen Name, tell them it’s either “Bic, Papermate, or Sharpie.” 3. ANONYMOUS.  Google famous writings that are not credited to any particular author. You’ll have numerous bodies of work available to brag about penning. Just off the top of my head, there’s The Diary of a U-boat Commander or The Debate Between Bird and Fish or think really big and lay claim to The New Testament, (other than the authentic Epistles of Paul.)
  3. People might ask, “Well you may be a writer, but are you an actual author? And what’s the difference anyhow?”  First look askance. Practice this expression dutifully as both writers AND authors need to be able to look ‘askance’ in just a quick glance. Next sigh under your breath, “Hah. Mere semantics!”  Don’t leave out the “mere” part of this response because their shame in asking the question in the first place won’t be nearly as copious. “Copious” is another word you can bat about. Then pause to jot something important down in the notebook you always carry around with you (right, Harriet??) and never look up again. The something important can be, “Buy fat-free sour cream.”
  4. Talk about working on Rough Drafts a lot. Why are they so rough? Elaborate on that. Boast that after you finish your rough draft, you’ll then need to start on a Tough Draft. Non-writers will nod with empathy, but other writers will see thru this nonsense and call you on it. But you don’t care because you know they’re just furious with you for claiming to have written The Debate Between Bird and Fish before they could.
  5. Put memes about writing on Facebook at least twice a week. Here’s a good one.writing-meme-4Because everyone always knows that real authors create characters that take on a life of their own. And man is that scary! Have you ever had a death threat from a guy you invented who wears a striped hood and goes by “Will Billy Williams?” I mean his first, middle, and last names are all really the same thing! Eek!
  6. Writers earn awards. They may be obscure but nevertheless they can be totally legit. Take my award for example –lots of people questioned if it was actually real.19510369_10155431909612603_8281710292314964876_n That means the opposite will hold true. You can create your own bogus award and nobody will even bat an eye. Just make sure to frame it and have someone hang it prominently. Tip: The more colored mats you put around it, the bigger the frame it will fit into and the more wall space you’ll occupy in your mother’s living room.
  7. If you want lots of people to hire you to write for them, you should give yourself the title of “Freelance Writer.” That means nobody has to pay you to lance their boils while they read your stuff. This is a huge benefit to them. Just don’t go overboard and call yourself “Lancelot” because people will only hire you to write at knight.
  8. Ghost Writer! If there’s still nobody that’s buying that you’re a writer, you need to resort to being a Ghost Writer. First of all, talking about your haunted keyboard will be enough to get you booked on Dr. Phil and when you read your stuff aloud in coffee shops during open mic nights and people “Boo” you — well that will be especially fitting, won’t it??
  9. If all else fails, you can change your name to Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy and the wonderful woman I owe a debt of gratitude for inciting my lifelong passion for writing as a little girl.

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How NOT To Plan a Summer BBQ in 15 Easy Steps (Plus Bonus Swimming Pool Etiquette! Uh, NOT!)

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Yup, Summer is Upon Us! Here’s how NOT to Plan a BBQ Get-Together!

  1. Feel guilty remembering last July when you were grilling steaks in your backyard, the newly moved-in next-door neighbor popped his fat head over the fence and yelled, “Mmm, something sure smells good!”
  2. Resolve to invite anyone who lives within “Wafting Aroma” distance.
  3. Rethink leaving notification flyers under everyone’s welcome mat on their front doorstep because that’s what pushy realtors and obnoxious cable companies do. Instead hang “Everyone is Welcome to Our Backyard Cookout” posters on group mailboxes.
  4. Hide your shock when the postman personally delivers bills/letters to your porch and then asks if it’s okay to bring his cousins and their kids?
  5. Overhear through your open window two mothers chatting on the sidewalk below, “Do you know her? I don’t either. How lame. Maybe she has no other friends.”
  6. Realize you wrote “Potluck” on the invites to promote camaraderie and teamwork, but now everyone will probably just think you’re cheap. Also since you didn’t do that organized Martha Stewart trick where you divide the alphabet into A-L = side dish/drinks and M-Z = main course/appetizer, there will now be 17 containers of Costco white chocolate macadamia nut cookies on your dessert table.
  7. Knock on individual doors because you forgot to put RSVP info in your flyer. Act surprised when the first neighbors (The Coopers?) thank you for inviting them, but then they remark they’ll only come if they’ll know someone else there. Reassure them that the O’Donnell family will definitely be attending, because you know they like them. Break a sweat running to the O’Donnell house and casually mention the Cooper family will be at your BBQ and you hope they’ll come too?
  8. Pray that the Coopers and the O’Donnells never EVER bring this topic up in conversation with one another.
  9. Go in your backyard and fret that your plants are dying, your lawn furniture is tattered, and everyone else’s property is surely a better place to hold a BBQ than yours. And what’s there to do back here after scarfing down burgers? Absolutely nothing.
  10. Re-landscape, buy patio seating, and put in an underground swimming pool with a built-in waterslide.
  11. Make the case to your husband that you need to repaint your home’s interior as neighbors need to walk thru your entire house to get to the backyard because if they go via the side gate, it stinks due to trashcans. Keep talking about Benjamin Moore “Swiss Coffee Shoreline” color palette when he interrupts and says he’ll simply relocate the garbage barrels inside your garage.
  12. Phone a marriage counselor when the divorce papers are delivered.
  13. Field phone calls from your siblings and parents who complain they were looking forward to a quiet family reunion BBQ but now you had to go and invite a bunch of strangers so now they’re not coming.
  14. Traipse around the entire neighborhood canceling your event when the local weatherman claims an unseasonable rainstorm is hitting San Diego this weekend.
  15. Ask what looks like your mailman’s grandma to please pass the butter for the corn-on-the-cob and then tell the mailman’s cousin’s children that you’d appreciate if they’d use their indoor voices while sitting at your formal dining room table.

Do’s And Don’ts To Get Along Swimmingly At a Community Pool!

This season you may be visiting a group swimming pool, so here’s my official list of Do’s and Don’ts, which you are encouraged to take with a grain of salt. (Or if your pool isn’t a saltwater based system– a capful of chlorine.)

  • DO arrive at the community pool with proper identification and whatever keycard you need to get through the gate. DON’T shout out to nearby sunbathers on lounge chairs from behind the bars, “Listen! I really do live here. I can prove it. Maybe you know my neighbors, The Coopers or The Odonnells? You can call them to verify my residency. Ready? 760 – 944 …” And DON’T rattle off a list of neighborhood trivia (like previous fires, burglaries, times car alarms go off in the morning, or who the mailman is sleeping with) as further evidence. If you’re desperate (and you really do reside in the development) DO make your best puppy dog expression at the individuals sitting under the umbrellas nearest the fence and offer to share your oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies with them if they let you in.
  • DON’T bring oatmeal cookies or fudge brownies to a pool! It will exacerbate the current ant problem. But DO bring “Ants on a Log” (the old peanut-butter on celery sticks with raisins to get kids to eat healthy) because the ants will view this snack as a prophetic bad omen and march off the premises.
  • If it’s forbidden to play “Marco Polo” (and it should be!) DON’T tell your children it’s okay to start shouting “Parco Molo!” at the top of their lungs instead. Just DON’T. Also while swimming, DO offer friendly salutations to people you recognize strolling by, but if they casually inquire, “So how’s the water today?” DON’T automatically answer with that tired cliché, “Like a bathtub!” There are many other ways to describe a warm pool so DO be creative. DO say, “Like a beach in Hawaii” or “like toasty hot cocoa.” DON’T say, “Like about 85 kids recently peed in it.”
  • Remember license plate holders that proudly declared, “My other car is a Porsche?” DO post a sign on your chest claiming, “My other bathing suit is a string bikini!” DON’T recline on your back overtly reading scandalous books with inappropriate covers for others to gawk at. But DO make phony dustjackets that say, “Dog-Paddling for Dummies” or “10 Wholesome Short Stories to Read at Public Swimming Pools” to slip over your provocative novels, because you shouldn’t have to miss all those juicy chapters!
  • DO use the outdoor shower that’s usually provided before you jump in the pool because that’s its primary purpose, to clean off your yuckiness. DON’T assume the shower was built for your personal grooming habits after your swim, which means DON’T bring a deep-conditioner, a razor, a loofah brush, an acne facial mask, a fogless mirror, and a luxurious bathmat. DO bring a rubber-ducky cuz that’s just plain cute.
  • And finally, DO let that family (with the really sad eyes and a bag full of oatmeal cookies and fudge brownies) with no key or ID into the community pool, because it’s probably my six kids and me. And I swear (on my other bikini) that we really do live here!

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Yes, You CAN Interview Yourself . . . And You Definitely Should!

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Welcome to today’s much anticipated (at least by the interviewer herself) Q & A session with the renown “Little Miss Menopause.” The questions will be asked by Stephanie D. Lewis, (SDL) essentially the exact same person as Little Miss Menopause (LMM) although if you believe in different personas, then this is a totally legit interview! So here we go . . .

SDL: Welcome Little Miss Menopause! It’s so nice to have you here. And you needn’t waste readers’ time by responding, “thank you for having me!” so let’s just get into our first question, shall we? How did you come to call yourself Little Miss Menopause?”

LMM: Well before I was a blogger, I wrote for an organization called, “Wine, Women & Hormones” and they paid me to make hot flashes, muffintops, and memory loss funny. I thought mid-life symptoms were the extent of my humor so I started this blog titled, “Once Upon Your Prime” and then I further boxed myself in by naming myself after the female change of life.

SDL: Way to go. I suppose it’s lucky you weren’t writing for a company about puberty or you might have been called, “Little Miss Menstruation!”

LMM:  Ha. I’ll be the funny one. Okay, we’ll split the one-liners equally. Next question?

SDL: How long have you been writing for?

LMM: I had a feeling you’d ask me that. I kept a diary from about 7th grade on. It was Snoopy brand (fittingly!) and had a lock with this silver minuscule key, but I always assumed that because I peeked inside everyone else’s diary, mine was also being heavily perused — so I’d purposely weave in these really entertaining fictional anecdotes. It turns out my family respected my rights and nobody ever violated my privacy.

SDL And so you you started intentionally leaving it unlocked, right? To tempt people. When that didn’t work, you actually left a post-it note with, “Please read!” on top, right? But still nobody picked it up.

LMM: Yes, yes! How did you know all that?

SDL: Because you’re boring, predictable, and also I was kinda there. So let’s see, next question . . . how did you manage to break into writing for The Huffington Post?

LMM: That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to a BLogHer writer’s conference in 2014 where Ms. Huffington was the keynote speaker.

SDL: Cornered her with the ole boring diary, did you?

LMM: No, I pretended I was already a Huff Post columnist but that I’d recently been unfairly let go. I pleaded for another chance and promised I’d be funnier. So I got myself rehired when I was never really hired in the first place!

SDL: And if you were never hired, you could never be fired either. You steal a lot of stuff from Seinfeld’s character Kramer, doncha?

LMM: Speak for yourself. So what made you decide to interview me? Or shall we just drop this whole reporter pretense and ask, what made you decide to interview yourself, Stephanie?

SDL: The idea came to me last week that everyone deserves the chance (even if they’re not famous) to have stimulating questions thrown at them. I waited around to see if anyone would ask me anything, but only my kids approached me with a certain amount of curiosity. They asked me what was for dinner? I finally decided there was nothing wrong with doing this myself. It’s part of my personal Self-Care which I just wrote about in the entry below this one. (Small plug!) Now mind you, I didn’t have to disclose that this was a self-interview because nobody would have figured it out, but I pride myself on being brutally honest.

LMM: Yes, I’m sure Arianna Huffington would concur. So might this interview thing also be in honor of finally hitting a certain number of followers that has been your long time goal? And if so, what’s that number?

SDL:  I’m not going to disclose how many followers I have, are you crazy? Some people would think it’s too high or too low. Just like my weight, I wouldn’t tell you that either.

LMM:  I already know what you weigh, fool. Remember? I am you. You are me. Ohh yeah, that’s right . . .  we use one of those scales that doesn’t show our weight, it only specifies if we’ve gained or lost. Which is like a doctor not telling you what your diagnosis is, only if you’re getting better or worse. Don’t you think? Of what use is that?

SDL: I’m kinda getting sick of you. And somehow you’ve turned this whole thing around so now you’re the one interviewing me. Let’s just cut to the chase and issue our challenge already.

LMM: Alrighty. If you’re reading this and you’re feeling brave (and quirky!) try interviewing yourself on your own blog. C’mon! What have you got to lose? It’s fun and everyone should do it. Just like masturbation.

SDL: OMG. I am so relieved that my persona said that last line, and not me! How totally embarrassing. Anyhow, if you take me (us!) up on this self-interview challenge, feel free to come back and post a link in the comments section. Thank you! And thank you for your time Little Miss Menopause.

LMM:  No, I’m thanking YOU!

SDL: Nope, thank YOU!  Now sign off.

LMM: No, you sign off. I want the last word.

SDL: Unbelievable. Seriously?? Goodbye.

LMM:  Aha … Gotcha!

SDL: Could you be a more Immature persona??

Various microphones aligned at press conference isolated over a

 

 

 

 

 

How Dare You Do Self-Care!

 

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The 70’s and 80’s commercial slogan, “Calgon take me away!” has nothing on today’s overused buzzword we know simply as, “Self-Care.” In fact my six children do a fake vomiting impression whenever they hear those two little words, probably because they got so sick of its predecessor — that classic analogy meant to justify my taking a break that went like this, “Mommy has to put her own oxygen mask on first before she can help you put on yours.” So now they officially refuse to travel on an airplane with me. (By the way, these same kids also signed a petition to prevent my talking about myself in the 3rd person, but that’s another blog entirely!)

So how did the pendulum swing so far in the other direction for females? You may recall not too long ago, most mothers put everyone else first, to the point of truly neglecting themselves, making motherhood synonymous with martyrdom. Gradually women learned it was okay to sometimes say, “No!” and that was kind of a nice, happy medium. Because sometimes we still said, “Yes!”

But now it’s gotten to the point where nobody shows up to help in an emergency because we can’t cope with any crisis until we’ve practiced good self-care. Imagine a horrible earthquake occurring, but before the American Red Cross sends assistance, they must slather Neutrogena’s soothing beauty balm onto their skin!

The next time you hang up the phone or part ways with someone while casually saying, “Take care of yourself now!” be aware that you’ve just granted someone permission to go get a mani/pedi, watch a soap-opera, and eat chocolate bonbons. That’s because “Self-Care” is loosely defined to encompass anything from aromatherapy (using essential oils!) to literally running away from life.

Join me now as we listen in on a “Self-Care, Self-Help, Do-It-Yourself Support Group” in progress: (And if you think that has too many “Self” words in it, congratulations you catch on fast!)

Leader: Take out your Self-Care journals and let’s make a list of what we need to have in our Self-Care kits. And then let’s take a Selfie holding them. Selma, please read your list?

Selma: Bath Salts, Bath Bombs, Bath Oils, Bath Bubbles, Bath Gels, Bath Sponges, Bath Scrubs, Bath Soaps…oh and you should put an actual Bathtub in your kit if it can fit.

Leader: Definitely! Sonia, your list please?

Sonia: I went the Mindful route. Is that okay?

Leader: Oh goody! Mindfulness and Self-Care go together like bagel and cream cheese, which you should also have in your kit by the way. Please continue . . .

Sonia: Mindful Yoga mat, Mindful Meditation book, Mindful Crystal, Mindful Meditation CD, Mindful Sunscreen, Mindful Money, Mindful Bra, Mindful Pillow, Mindful Birth Control, Mindful Michael Kors Purse, Mindful Nutella. . .

Leader: Terrific. You’ve discovered the main secret to Self-Care — just put the word “Mindful” in front of anything you desire and it’s automatically gonna be healthy and get our approval.

Sonia: Except “Mindful Children.” Somehow it doesn’t work with kids.

Leader: Whatever. Now let’s all recite the Self-Care first commandment together. Ready? “Caring for myself is not self-indulgent, it IS self-preservation.”

Suzanne: What about, “I think, therefore I am?”

Leader: Definitely not. You’re in the wrong place. The Self-Aware Support Group meets in the room down the hall.

Stacey: How about, “You can’t love someone else until you can love yourself?”

Leader: Sorry, you also don’t belong here. You’ll find the Self-Esteem Support Group meets in this same room but on Thursdays.

Stephanie: I have a question. I keep a diary, light lots of candles, get hand massages, eat avocado toast, go cloud-watching (I once saw one shaped like Gwyneth Paltrow!) unplug my cellphone daily, and breathe deeply while smelling roses, but still I’m completely miserable. Are some people just not good at this Self-Care stuff?

Leader: Security! Come quick! Code 5, I repeat Code 5! A Self-Sabotager has snuck into Self-Care! Calgon, take her away!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Self-Care is completely responsible for society’s narcissistic behavior or that we’re all returning to the “Me” generation, but perhaps “Self-Care” could include things like volunteering at a retirement center, adopting a homeless pet, buying the guy behind you a Starbucks, and leaving a comment on my blog. 😉 Now wouldn’t those things also make YOU feel good??

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And if you’re a guy, what does “Self-Care” even mean for you? Have you been sucked onto its bandwagon too, or is this just a girl thing?

5 Languages of Love (Tweaked!)

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What would happy couples do without bestselling author, Gary Chapman? That’s who wrote the The Five Love Languages (8 years on the NY Times Non-Fiction List!) where he asserts that each person has one primary way of perceiving love. Here are your only choices according to Mr. Chapman:

  1. Gift Giving
  2. Quality Time
  3. Words of Affirmation
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

But what would you do without Little Miss Menopause to break it down and give the list a quickie tweak to simplify things for you?

  1. Gif Giving — Try sending some of THESE)
  2. Quality Thyme — You should probably spring for the very best parsley, rosemary, and sage that you can find too. Try your local farmer’s market! Definitely the way to spice things up, but do pass on the garlic and onions.
  3. Birds of Affirmation — I would suggest a parrot, an African Grey, or a Myna bird. In a pinch you can try training male parakeets to talk. Just teach them to greet your lover warmly with the following phrases to give your mate the affirmation he/she is seeking: “Polly doesn’t wanna cracker, Polly wants YOU!” or “Pretty Birdy” (works best if your significant other is named Betty or Billy and is slightly hard of hearing) and also, “I can talk, but can you fly?” (which isn’t necessarily affirming, but will give your sweetheart something to think about while they wait for you to finally move on to the 4th love language.)
  4. Acts of Cervix — This is an advanced love language and should be saved for the final stages of pregnancy. But if you’ve reached that point then by all means, go ahead and communicate in this most articulate fashion. Instantly dilating your cervix to 10 centimeters says, “I think you’re gonna be a dynamite father and I’m ready for us to be a team with this baby!” Failure to dilate and needing an emergency c-section might send the message that, “Uh, I’ve changed my mind about this whole parenting thing with you. Can we walk back up the aisle and reverse the marriage as well??”
  5. Psychic Touché — This might be the most important love language of all. You need to somehow communicate the meaning of “Touché” (“Wow, you got me! That’s another point for you! Aren’t you the most clever one tonight?!) through your sheer mental powers alone. When you can convey this one simple word (with just that hauntingly familiar look in your eyes) all the way across a crowded laundromat during a power outage while experiencing a hot flash, you’ll know you have mastered this communication skill down pat. But be very careful that it doesn’t get misinterpreted as, “F*ck off and die!” because they’re very close together on the spectrum and the latter won’t make you appear quite as loving.
  6. * BONUS 6th SECRET LOVE LANGUAGE! — Poor, deprived Gary Chapman. Because he obviously never thought of including just plain old, “Wild n’ Crazy Sex” — (No simplification or tweaking needed.) And now . . .  Touché!!
Readers: If you know someone Jewish who feels kinda slighted when they go to Disneyland during Christmas, I’ve given them their turn at feeling welcomed in the theme park, right HERE.
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My Kittens Language Of Love – – They’re “Sinking” to a new low! “All washed up!”

Do You Have Inflammation of the Imagination? Take This Simple (but dangerous!) Quiz

imagination_by_xbooshbabyxThe plane you’re flying on begins to get slightly bumpy:

a) It’s just a little normal turbulence due to this sudden windstorm.

b) The pilot just discovered his beautiful fiancé is in love with another man and now he doesn’t want to live anymore. And he’s taking us all down with him!

As you sip a Diet Coke, a new health report comes out proclaiming artificial sweeteners have now been proven to cause dementia:

a) Uh huh, and next month they’ll say people with higher IQ’s drink six diet colas daily.

b) As you choke and sputter on the carbonated amber toxin, you can feel your brain cells dying off one by one, and you no longer remember your own middle name.

Your coworker pays you a compliment by saying how funny you are:

a) You say “thank you” and return the favor by remarking that she always brings a smile to your face as well.

b) Start a humor blog complete with an online store that sells mugs and tee-shirts with humorous original sayings on them, but first design a greeting card line called, “Cracking You Up!” while simultaneously securing an agent familiar with booking into the comedy circuit.

It’s been an hour and your kid hasn’t responded to your text.

a) He’s probably distracted having fun.

b) Somebody’s got him in an old basement with bad reception and he’s covertly trying to activate his “Find Your Phone” app so you can send the authorities just as his Android is roughly yanked from his frail hands while a deep voice growls, “Your mother will never hear from you again… unless it’s in her dreams!”

The receptionist leaves a voicemail saying the results from your routine blood work are in and asks you to return her call.

a) What a great office — they’re so careful about the privacy laws and not leaving overly detailed messages.

b) Something tragic showed up in your hemoglobin (probably from drinking diet sodas) and this woman didn’t have the heart to leave the specifics in a recording so you’re going to have to go in for a face-to-face meeting and as the doctor tells you to please have a seat in his large back office, he’ll glance to his desk at the framed photos of his own sweet children, and say a little gratitude prayer that it’s you and not him.

The busboy in the restaurant keeps staring at you as he clears the dishes from the next table:

a) You must remind him of someone he once knew.

b) He’s fantasizing about asking you out on a date, but it’s going to hurt his feelings when you decline unless he gets promoted to a waiter, but that will never happen since he looks like the type who arrives late to work every day and he’ll get into a motorcycle crash before he ever straightens out his act because he has issues proving his masculinity to his father.

At the check-out stand in the grocery store, the credit card you pulled out has suddenly vanished:

a) You’re getting so careless nowadays, you must’ve put it back in your wallet before you even used it.

b) Okay, so where’s the camera? You’re on that new show where the magician catches people off guard with clever tricks making them think they’re losing their mind because they don’t know they’re being filmed. You knew you should’ve straightened your hair this morning!

At the pediatrician’s office, you observe all the children on the floor, playing with other kids and sharing toys that belong to the doctor.

a) It’s great to see little ones so well-adjusted and socializing early in life.

b) Why don’t all parents wear shirts with little beads, buttons, bells, and whistles sewn on the front so their children can sit happily in their laps and self-entertain — thereby avoiding all the germs in places like this? They’d sell like hotcakes online and you  can call them “Activi-Tees”

At a wedding, the fish entree is not seasoned to your liking:

a) You send it back because rumors of chefs spitting in the food are largely unfounded.

b) You’re certain the salmon was laced with cyanide and this plate was actually meant for the man seated on your right because he’s been having an affair with the beautiful fiancé of the chef, who used to be an airline pilot but lost his job when he flew erratically into a windstorm because of a jealous rage.

QUIZ RESULTS: Subject to your imagination, but mostly “b” answers suggest a career as a writer, inventor, or paranoid parent.

*Credit for the phrase, “Inflammation of the Imagination” goes to Dr. Bradley Shapero.

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Listen up! If You Want More Readers, Just WHISPER!

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“Well shake it up baby … twist and Whisper!” Huh? Shhhhhhh, you’ve just entered The No-Shout Zone! Right HERE is an old perfume television commercial with the slogan, “If you want to capture someone’s attention, just whisper!”

And evidently our librarians knew what they were talking about, (and HOW to do their talking!) when they insisted we all speak in hushed tones — and thus eventually associate whispering with the pleasure of reading books. But did you know there’s now something called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which is a very STRANGE phenomenon that has hundreds of women profiting from making online videos where they do nothing but seductively whisper as they role-play being flight attendants, hairdressers, party planners, eye doctors, and personal shoppers?

Now mind you, this is not supposed to elicit any kind of sexual response in us. Instead, it’s supposed to give a highly pleasant tingling or relaxing sensation like when you’d have a sleepover with a friend and the two of you would draw letters on each others backsides to guess what you were spelling. Some say it’s a “climax of the brain.” Okaaaaay….Here’s a much better explanation right HERE. But that depends on your definition of “better!” Crazy, right?

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FINDS THIS KIND OF WHISPERING AS OBNOXIOUS AS FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD???

Forgive me for spoiling all your fun, but I can’t stand the way she forms those “wet” sounds with her mouth, her long pausing, (get on with it already!) and also the overly familiar way she behaves with her hairbrush. In general she’s bizarrely overly intimate with her listeners. My adverse reaction could possibly hearken back to grade school when Jenny Mayron would lean into my desk, cup her sweaty hand around my ear, (so the teacher couldn’t hear) and proceed to whisper some stupid secret that was completely obliterated by the disgusting feeling of her warm, moist, stale breath on my skin.

However an argument might be made that I’m just simply jealous of these Whispering Women because I cannot do what they do.  That’s right, according to my children, I lack the ability, and am utterly incapable of any discreet whispering.

In a movie theatre:

Me: (Whispering) Do you think he’s really dead? Or do you think he’s going to pop up later and attack his ex-wife? And will that be before or after he cuts off her child support?

Daughter: Do you think you could talk any louder? So next time the entire audience can hear you, and not just the six rows around us?

In a restaurant:

Me: (Whispering) Don’t look now but that kid from your football team who can’t catch a ball to save his life, just sat down three booths behind you.

Son: Oh my god, Mom. And you could be our announcer high up in the booth at our game without even using a loudspeaker!

So for the sake of getting some much needed practice with these skills, and also because I’d like to experience what it’s like to bring tingling pleasure to other people just by merely using my voice, I’ve decided that the following scenarios warrant whispering.

ROADSIDE

Me: (Whispering) Didn’t you see my brake lights? You teenagers shouldn’t even be allowed to drive. And it’s a brand new car! What are you going to do about this??!!?

Teen Driver: (On cellphone) Dad? I think I just rear-ended the Low-Talker from Seinfeld.

KARAOKE CONTEST

Me: (whispering Little Richard’s Song) 

We-eee-eeel….

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will
Don’t forget to say, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah . . .
Judge: Okay that was just plain odd. But just in case — hope you recover soon from your laryngitis.
Being Proposed To
Me: (Whispering)  Yes, yes. Of course I’ll marry you. I just wanna shout it from the rooftops, “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with a wonderful guy!!”
Him: Eh?? Pardon me? Was that a yes or no?
Announcing Children’s Report Cards to Hard-of-Hearing Grandmother For Monetary Reimbursement
Me: (Whispering)  You wouldn’t believe the GPA your grandchildren all demonstrated this year in school.
Grandma: Young people today! It’s disgusting how much kissing, hugging, and slobbering over each other they do in front of others. That kind of behavior should never be rewarded! Hmmph.
Kids: Grandma! Come back. NOT PDA! OMG, Great time to perfect your whispering talents, Mom!
And lastly I’ll leave you with a party planner who makes me just want to slap her silly! Give a short listen right HERE and if you have any other reaction besides, “Speak up, Sister!” I wanna hear about it in the comments. Meanwhile, I’m giving a “Shout-out” to Marian the Librarian in Music Man and tonight I’m watching, “Old Yeller” and cranking up the volume!
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So Who Died and Left You in Charge?

in-chargeDo you sometimes wonder how certain (relatively inconsequential) things in life get decided? I mean who was the one specific individual that arrived at the ultimate conclusion? I’m not even talking about who makes all the major, significant determinations — (YOU can be in charge of making that particular list!) I just mean the odds n’ ends type of stuff that needs a final verdict. Let’s delve deeper, shall we? Because here are 12 things that nobody really knows who is in charge of!

Who’s In Charge Of . . . ?

  1. Selecting the specific kind of pornography for the men who use the “deposit” room at sperm donor or infertility clinics?
  2. Deciding that 1970’s Chia Pets (with their annoying “Ch Ch Ch Chia” commercial jingles) should now be a “health” seed that we must sprinkle on frigging EVERYTHING we eat?
  3. Figuring out the number of seconds a doctor leaves the examination room so a patient can fully disrobe and put on that silly paper gown? (As an aside: Who told doctors to rap on the door three times first, when they’re just gonna barge in on you half-naked anyhow? For once I’d like doctors to knock, then wait patiently while I yell, “Be right there. Will ya hold your horses already? I’m just taking something out of the oven!”)
  4. Singing the alphabet in a singsong voice so that the five middle letters sound like just one long one… “elemenopee?”
  5. Substituting the inane phrase “reaching out” for the old sensible word, “contacting.” When someone thanks me for “reaching out” on the phone, I wanna burst into Neil Diamond’s syrupy lyrics, “Hands, touching hands, reaching out…touching me, touching you!”
  6. Prescribing what the average “room temperature” should be in a house? Because this individual is solely responsible for a great many of the arguments I have with my ex-husband. (Identify yourself!)
  7. Firing the classic national Time Lady? C’mon you remember her? You’d call the telephone number and a familiar recorded voice reassured you it was 5:32 EXACTLY. She’d throw in the outdoor temperature as a bonus — (so my ex-husband and I could squabble over the indoor one.) And while I’m at it, who also decided who the voice of Siri should be?
  8. Determining at what age a woman should stop wearing a mini-skirt?
  9. Checking if a bride actually has something old, new, borrowed and blue?
  10. Choosing which side of the bed a husband and wife get to sleep on? And why can’t they alternate nightly?
  11. Stating that a “portion size” of Reddi Whip Cream is a mere two tablespoons? (And shouldn’t the measurement be calibrated as “squirts in the mouth?’)
  12. Deciding which foods (salmon, I’m looking at you!) get to qualify as “Good fats?” (And why can’t Reddi Whip make the cut?)CGJiWEgUYAAZJOU.png

Readers, leave me a comment about something you often ask, “Sheesh, who the heck was in charge of THAT?” (But don’t blame me — I was only in charge of six children.)

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Let’s REALLY Mix Up the Media!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAEiAAAAJDUwZTk3MDViLTFkZGQtNDg2OC1hNWI0LTcxNDQwMzMwZjNiMw (1)In an age where amusement park rides (“Pirates of Caribbean”) and board games (“Clue”) can become movies, comic strips (Lil’ Orphan Annie) become Broadway musicals, books (“Gone Girl”) become cinema thrillers,   and novels become a controversial Netflix television series (“13 Reasons Why”) I’ve decided WHY STOP THERE?

Songs Becoming News Stories!

(Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”)

In a New York bar on a Saturday night as the regular crowd shuffled in, many patrons allegedly inundated a helpless pianist with random musical requests. Some were sad, some were sweet, and some were incomplete as people struggled with their memories, substituting “La la la, di da da La la, di da da da dum” for actual lyrics. Even the bartender, who was identified only as John (and who gave free drinks, was quick with a joke or to light up a smoke) seemed to hold the compassionate piano player accountable for his own unhappiness and the fact that he couldn’t break free from the nightclub to become a movie star. “Bill, I believe this is killing me,” he was quoted as saying. Other innocent bystanders included a real estate novelist, a waitress practicing politics, and some businessmen slowly getting stoned. One witness claimed the piano sounded like a carnival and the microphone smelled like a beer, but this could not be substantiated. In fact many customers ordered the drink special of the night, called “Loneliness” and this seemed to evoke a common sentiment that if the pianist would only sing them the right kind of song with a melody that they were in the mood for, then everyone would be feeling alright. The manager finally appeared and gave a smile, aware that it was his establishment that helped everyone forget about life for a while. It was unknown whether the Piano Man later sought therapy for the pressure he felt during this incident.

Recipes Becoming Poetry!

(Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Baking time will be less than a half hour at 350 oven power

First grab 1 tsp salt, baking soda, and 2 1/4 cups flour,

Add in 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, and be sure it’s 1 cup butter

You’ll be dropping by spoonfuls, no need for cookie cutter!

Don’t overbake, you want them soft and chewy to the lips,

And they won’t taste right if you don’t add chocolate chips!

Poetry Becoming Dog Tags!

If you’re reading this, it means I’m lost.

Maybe there’s a street I shouldn’t have crossed.

But the worst is over ‘cuz now I’ve been found. . .

And you’ve saved me from ending up in the pound.

So pick up the phone and give my owner a holler

And tell them you read this rhyme on my collar!”

Lyrics Becoming Essays!

(Katy Perry’s “Firework” – Graded by Little Miss Menopause)

Kati Perry “Firework”
8th Grade/Eng Comp 101/Period 4

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?(Careful beginning any persuasive essay with a question — if the answer is “No” you’ve just lost your reader.)

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin like a house of cards, (archaic phrase, nobody knows what this is except for the popular TV show.) one blow from caving in? (overly dramatic, credibility?)

Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams, but no one seems to hear a thing. (morbid tone, not in keeping with rest of your paper, Ms. Perry)

Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause (you must type out ‘because’ in formal essays) there’s a spark in you. (more supporting evidence needed) You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine, just own the night like the Fourth of July. (awkward sentence structure!)

‘Cause baby you’re a firework, come on show ’em what your (you’re) worth. Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (use proper dialoguing format here.) As you shoot across the sky-y-y. (cliche) Baby you’re a firework. (cite your source) Come on let your colors burst! Make ’em go “Oh, oh, oh!” (Choppy!) You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down.

Boom, boom, boom even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through. You’re gonna leave ’em fallin’ down down down. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. Etc, etc.

(D+ You tried Katy, and this is a much better effort than your “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” term paper, but your closing argument paragraph is redundant, nonsensical, and frankly better suited for a song lyric. I’m recommending you repeat English Comp 101.)

Movie Dialogue Becoming Resumes

Skills and Experience:

  • Phoning Home
  • Building it so they will come
  • Showing the Money
  • Looking at you, Kid
  • Rounding up the usual suspects
  • Putting my lips together and whistling
  • Seeing dead people
  • Depending on the kindness of strangers
  • Never using wire hangers. EVER!
  • Martini making, shaken not stirred
  • Making your day
  • Keeping the force with you
  • Not putting babies in corners
  • Not giving a damn, but in a very frank way

Readers, join me in the fun of mixing and matching our crazy media! Why not leave me a comment with your own creative blend?

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Ode To Control Freaks!

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You may think our logic is slightly flawed,

Certain we know best, even better than God.

Our kids wear sweaters when we’re really the ones who’re cold.

And good luck throwing us Surprise parties without us wearing a blindfold.

Need to know everything — we’re obsessed with discovering stuff.

You may admonish, “Mind your own business!” but never have to say, “Get off your duff!”

It’s not enough to just know the outer you, we want to know your internals.

That’s exactly why it’s fine for us to snoop thru your diaries and journals!

And if we’re extra polite, saying thank-you and please quite often,

We think you won’t bristle at our demands, in fact we think you’ll soften.

But look at the upside to being one of us — we’re meticulous with wars we’re waging.

We fight about marriage, work, schools, friends, and we’re totally against our own aging!

‘Micromanaging’ — such a vulgar term, we’d never EVER do it!

But alas our “helpful hint” is taken the wrong way, folks just misconstrue it.

So if we cannot manipulate our world at large, you, or even our own mate’s lives,

At least we’re gonna stay in charge of our kid’s health… with the prevention of hives!

Um, that last line was stupid, but controlling peeps are stubborn,

Even over words, language, rhymes, we must try and govern!

And there’s one more thing we’re planning to subtly orchestrate . . .

Bestowing a new name on US, one that promotes a euphoric state.

‘Cuz calling us CONTROL FREAKS is rather harsh, ugly, and bleak.

How about just saying we have special powers due to our technique?

So from now on, “Universal Supervisor” replaces “Control Freak” as our new term.

Can we all just agree on this? I really need to know you’ll confirm!

And ‘cuz we’re certain that most of you find our control issues something to condemn…

Therefore nobody who is “One of Us” will admit that this is actually them.

But I’ll raise my hand proudly (sorta!) because once you get to know me . . .  I’m really quite a gem!

Lastly before I leave you, I’m not beyond using guilt to influence and apply a little pressure,

If you don’t leave me a comment, nobody will know you exist or that you’re such a WordPress treasure!

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/control/

 

I Keep Forgetting To Give Up Diet Cola!

soft-drinks-diet-coke-dementia-strokeI hate the Experts. They’re always making us give up things we like. Honestly it’s been on my (long) list of self-improvements to finally “Kick the Can” but it kept slipping my mind. And now I know why! Last week, a shocking news story went viral that was “sodapressing” for me.  Its headlines exploded (like when my son mischievously shakes my Zero Calorie Pepsi can) “Diet Soda Causes Dementia and Strokes!”

Wow. Just wow. But it was too late. My fate was already sealed. This amazing memory of mine had always been something I prided myself on until recently (hitting the big 5-0) when suddenly I’d walk into the proverbial room and couldn’t remember why.

I posted signs on the walls with hints meant to jog my mind.

This worked for a while, until I couldn’t even remember to look up and read my little signs. And to think this downhill slide into oblivion could all be attributed to my tiny, little addiction to a “sugar-free fizzy party in the bottle.”

Such an innocent vice, really. Years ago, I used to balance that red two-liter bottle of infamous carmel-colored carbonated liquid on top of my skull and tease that I was officially a “Cokehead.” But seriously, give me a break, Experts! I drink zero coffee or black tea so this was my only source of caffeine. (NOTE: YOU HAVE NO TANGIBLE PROOF ABOUT ME AND CHOCOLATE.)

And then I began to date a holistic, homeopathic, health and wellness doctor and suddenly I felt the need to hide my “criminal” activity to avoid disapproval. I slunk around the house (when he was over) snatching sips of the dark toxic bubbles from random flower vases and fishbowls, denying I had a problem.  “Look at the huge spider on that wall!” I’d gasp and point, then slug down my Chanel #5 perfume bottle.

Finally I recognized that my Diet Soda was out of hand. Or rather, it was always IN hand. I needed the Twelve-Steps Solution for my Six-Pack Problem. I knew I was truly frightened that a bad thing could happen if I didn’t quit. But I couldn’t even recall what that thing was anymore. And the only “strokes” I wanted were high praise for my writing.

Soon a well-meaning girlfriend (from AA) suggested I slowly taper off the poison by pouring something else in the cup to dilute it down. Gin, rum or vodka. No, she actually recommended water.

Sadly “moderation” isn’t a word in my vocabulary. (Although I was once just a “little bit pregnant” with twins.) But mainly I’m an All or Nothing type. Black or White. Up or Down. Feast or Famine. Push or Pull. Diet Coke or Death.

And so I had no choice but to go Cold-Turkey. But first because of the language lover that I am, I had to find out why we call it that? Would I soon be walking around shivering and saying “gobble, gobble?”  If you love word origins, you can find out HERE.

And then to my surprise, another viral internet headline surfaced from the Experts. It refuted the first study that diet soda caused these awful things. And tossed around words like “Absolute Risks,” and “Control Groups” and made some other really important points that I can’t recall at the moment.

I love the Experts! Yay. Giving me permission to continue doing something I want to do!

And then I realized. It’s not just something I want to do. I NEED to do it. I get headaches without diet soda. I crave more and more. I hear that familiar “fffsssssst” when someone flips the lid of a can and I flip my own lid trying to obtain some. (Thank you Pavlov!) Yes, I DO have a real problem, expert or no expert.

Also . . .  (and here comes my love of wordplay again!) DIET COKE starts with “D” and so does Dementia. Coke rhymes with Stroke and Croak. And speaking of croaking, Diet contains the word “Die” in it. Cola even perfectly rhymes with Ebola, which nobody has mentioned yet but you can bet your pop-top that’s the next big scare. And Bubbles rhymes with Troubles. Coincidence? I think not.

Forget the experts. Forget dementia. Forget the experts. (Oh right, I already said that.) My own astute language associations (above) are all the empirical ‘absolute risk’ evidence I need to kick the habit. Starting today, I’m getting completely off that bubbly stuff you drink when you don’t want calories or sugar or fat and whose name I might recall right now if I hadn’t been drinking so much of it in the first place.

READERS: Do you have a little “addiction” you rationalize and think is innocent in the grand scheme of things? Tell me about it in the comments so I won’t feel so alone! Or before I move to Minnesoda. 😉

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I’d Like To Dedicate This To You, and to AVOCADOS!

featuredHave you detected the newest fad in eating? The trendiest ingredient of the millennium is now getting its own dedicated restaurant. A few of them, in fact! In Brooklyn, New York, “Avocadoria” just opened on April 10th. And in Amsterdam, “The Avocado Show” has already been serving nothing but these green gems for a while now. And don’t forget Avocado Athens, in Greece.

Little Miss Menopause (of course!) felt compelled to go undercover for a review, an interview, and to get all the facts on why these Avocado Advocates were so passionate about something that when mushed up, looks like it belongs in The Exorcist.  As I deplaned in NYC, I changed into my only green shirt with this graphic I made for the front.il_570xN.1153504504_opnt

Me: Thank you for granting me an interview in between mashing, dicing, slicing, spreading, scooping, chopping, pureeing, mincing, and blending.

Owner: Don’t forget whipping.

Me: I never read Fifty Shades. So tell me WHY the avocado?

Owner: Why NOT the avocado? Avocado lives matter. And avocados have been greatly misunderstood. Not knowing if it was a vegetable or a fruit. And having it be just a $2.50 item listed on the menu under “Sides.” An avocado ain’t no side to nobody.

Me: Of course it’s not.

Owner: It’s the main course here. In fact, there’s nothing in my restaurant that isn’t made out of avocado.

Me: Is that so? Nothing? I heard you even spread it on sandwiches in place of mayo or mustard, true?

Owner: Absolutely! There’s nothing in our sandwiches except avocado.

Me: But what about the bread?? Aha . . . caught you!!

Owner: Where you been girl? Avocado loaves!

Me: That’s not a thing.

Owner: Oh it’s soooooo a thing!avo

Me: Hmm, okay well how about this? If I were to order guacamole . . .

Owner: You’d be one boring, sheltered girl.

Me: Never mind that. If I were to order guacamole, what would you serve me to dip in it? Got ya there! You’d bring me tortilla chips, wouldn’t you?? You would!

Owner: Nope. We slice avocado into little half-dollar size circles and deep fry them in . . .

Me: OLIVE oil!  Busted!

Owner: Extra Virgin Avocado oil. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

After I left the interview feeling totally beaten, I had to admit the place was packed, the ambience was green and creamy, clean and dreamy, and the chef had it so easy. Just one ingredient for their entire menu! The wheels began to turn for me . . .

I know! I’ll open a restaurant that serves only Yams. I’m tired of people mixing up yams with sweet potatoes. I’ll call it, “I Yam Nuts!” Oh wait, then I’d have to serve cashews and almonds and pistachios as well. But not peanuts. They’re a legume.

As I walked, I brainstormed more mono-food eateries. “Cafe Capers” or “Okra-Homa” or my personal favorite, “Twinkie Twinkie Little Star,” but I’d have to talk to Hostess first.

Ironically on the street with the Avocadoria restaurant were a bunch of apparel stores, but selling one specific item. The signs proudly proclaimed, “Solo Socks” and “Only Underwear” and “Just Jammies” and “Merely Madras.” This was getting really weird.

I walked into “Scarcely Skirts” and tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

Me: I’d like to buy a pair of pants?

Owner: Sorry, we only carry skirts.

Me: Oh, I’m sure you must have something else besides skirts here. I know! I’d like to buy some hangers.

Owner: We don’t have any hangers.

Me: Then what’s suspending all your skirts from the clothing racks??

Owner: Get out, Little Miss Menopause. You are obviously in need of some mushrooms. Go next door and order some shroom tacos at “Fungus ForAllOfUs.”

I have a new plan. There must be some way for me to capitalize on this new segregational commerce trend. And I’ll start with “Avocadoria.” In the vacant space next door, I am going to open a restaurant called, “The Anti-Avo.” We’ll cook everything under the sun. Except for Avocados. I’ll be an Avocado Avoidant.

Customers will become so enraged by what they see the culinary world becoming, that they’ll embrace grub integration once more.  So won’t you join me in the food good fight, hop onto this grassrutabaga grassroots cruciferous crusade where all nourishment and noshes will once again coexist in peace and harmony.

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When The Sheet Hits The Fan!

oopsLast night I tossed and turned (a Caesar salad’s got nothin’ on me!) while cursing at my fitted sheet, which ironically is totally UNFIT to be slept on. This is the SIXTH set of bed linens I’ve purchased that have been pre-programmed by the manufacturer to drive me slowly mad by having a corner insidiously slip a half-inch every hour until it PING, snaps off the mattress entirely.

How do I know this? Because any manufacturer of a simple household product who thinks a huge selling point would be to put in large printed letters on a colorful sticker, right over the price tag, the message — “100% Percale! Now with 800 thread count!” is definitely out to get me. You see they know if I’m still moving forward to purchase this product (even after questioning what “Percale” might be and receiving a dire thread count warning), then I’m actually someone who is compulsive enough to recheck and confirm their number claim by totaling up the sum of threads on my fingers.

Okay, so really Mr. Inventor Guy? Seriously?? You can go on Shark Tank with your bladeless windmill, a shoelace-tying robot, plus figure out a way to grow guacamole right inside the avocado so there’s no messy mashing (Okay, I made that last one up, but wouldn’t it be cool?) yet you can’t devise a fitted sheet that stays securely on a bed mattress, without waking up the (already neurotic) occupant with a startle??

So I did what any desperate insomniac would do. I took to the internet for advice. On a website called Question.com I posted this:

Help! How can I stop the sheet from popping off my mattress? 

Within seconds an answer appeared, but in photograph form.

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Okay so that person must be a former treasure hunt, map-maker who believes “X marks the spot” is the solution to everything in life.

When I finally figured out that what I was looking at was the BOTTOM of the mattress, I explained to the helpful (NOT!) responder that mine was king-sized (and far too heavy to ever flip over!)

Immediately my grandmother (who must diligently read this obscure question/answer website in between her bridge games?) suddenly posted an image of what I can only guess are the garters she uses to hold up her stockings, except grandma has four legs now??

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After that, a bunch more “answers” came fast and furiously but not via cryptic photos. There were heated debates about my California King mattress being far too wide for just my regular King-sized sheets. It must’ve been presumed that because I live in San Diego I definitely own a California King mattress?

Next came the comics. On the internet, comedians always come out of the woodwork, (which I guess in the case of bed problems would be out of the headboard) except none were funny. Here’s an example anyhow.

“Hi! I’m Paul. I don’t have anything to say about how to fix this issue you’re having, but I misread the question as, ‘How can I stop the sh*t from pooping off my mistress?’ Haha.

Uh, Don’t quit your day OR your night job, Paul.

Next came all the “handy helpful hints” which are from women named Heloise. They fall under the general theme of using other common household objects to fix the original household object. Like this:safety pins

And you just know that once the Safety Pin Brigade begins, it can’t be long before The Duct Tape proponents come out in droves. Followed by The Velcro People.

Next I patiently wade through answers from sheer genius, analytical types . . . (but who can’t spell to save their life)

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And to this person I graciously respond, “No sheet, Sherlock?!”

There were many more answers (92 responses in total) to this age old dilemma and soon I realized that everyone had their own special way of handling the old “fitted sheet slipping off the corner” conundrum and I began to feel a certain camaraderie with all these fellow bedmates. I ended my “thank you’s” by bidding them “Sweet Dreams!” and cautioning them not to “let the bedbugs bite.” We shared pictures of our adorable children who had also been subjected to this same irritating fate.The-fitted-sheet-keeps-coming-off-the-bed-our-solutionpin1

And in this “it’s a small world” moment I was feeling that surely we must all have more in common than just our sheets coming undone from our mattresses, and so I posted a totally new and completely unrelated question.

“Help! After doing laundry, how do you neatly fold the fitted sheet and win the war in your linen closet?”

And just like that, we all intensely bonded over who had the best YouTube video showcasing a live demonstration.

It’s quite a relief knowing I will never lose another night’s sleep wondering who My People are, because I am now a confirmed member of the “Get a life” tribe.

And to all a good night!

Little Miss Menopause

April 1st! Fool ‘Em With a Song!

april-fools-dayI don’t know about you, but I get tired of people pulling dumb stunts on me (pretending apple juice is urine) or visual gags (glueing quarters to the sidewalk) on April Fool’s Day. I much prefer word games. And if they’re set to music and have a catchy beat, all the better!

That’s why every April Fool’s Day I tell the various people in my life that extremely famous songs were written with me in mind. It’s an innocent joke but you’d be amazed how many will buy it, until I can’t contain myself and burst out laughing.

Here are some tips to pull off your own, “I’m The One Neil Diamond Meant When he Crooned, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” hijinks!

  1. Tall Tale Tunes: Otherwise known as Story Songs will work really well for this particular joke. You know the kind where the lyrics teach a lesson or impart a moral? I must admit every time I heard, “Centerfold” by J. Geils Band, I really wanted to be the character in that song. The innocent girl that was “pure as snowflakes” in high school, who was “slipping notes under his desk while he was thinking about her dress!” And then years later, when he’s looking thru the pages of a girlie magazine, there’s his homeroom angel on the pages in-between . . . Whoa, Babam!!  Well – – you guessed it, I once told my ex-husband that I went to school with the lead singer of this band and bragged that “Centerfold” was written specifically about me — to assuage the mad crush he had on me, of course. To this day, my ex is terribly flattered I picked him to marry (out of what must’ve been hundreds of offers!) and he’s never once asked which magazine I posed for. (If he did, I’d tell him it was Popular Mechanics.)
  2. List of Story Songs: Here are some other suggestions of these kinds of songs you can claim are written about you: Bye Bye Miss American Pie (What? Wouldn’t it be a kick to be the person solely responsible for the day the music died?) Stairway to Heaven (All you have to be is a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold. Easy Peasy! Oh and you make him wonder…you really make Led Zeppelin wonder!) Cat’s in the Cradle (if you’re a guy, this one is perfect! Tell your wife you would have mentioned you were the son in Harry Chapin’s song a long time ago, but you thought she’d cry at your wedding when you refused to invite your dad because your smile never dimmed as you said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah. Y’know I’m gonna be like him!”
  3. Name Songs – – Man, do you have it made if there happens to already exist a song with YOUR exact name in it. In fact, women named Wendy seem to have all the luck. Tell him you actually are THE Wendy that Bruce Springsteen was Born to Run with, not to mention a personal invitation to strap your hands across his engines. Mmmm. Wendys can also claim that they’re the one referenced in Prince’s song, Kiss, or “Wendy” the song by Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame. And even Elton John with his title, “Wake Up Wendy.”  Or get fanciful and tell him you’re the Wendy from the musical, “Peter Pan.” But if you really wanna stretch it, tell him The Association wrote their song, “Windy” about you. Ready? Just google your name and see if you already have a song out there — bingo, instant April Fool’s material!
  4. Naive Targets: There are no songs with Stephanie in them, so I always choose extra gullible people for this type of musical prank. For instance my brother is the perfect kind of innocence for me to easily fool with. (When we were younger, I told him I had my own Candy store inside my bedroom wall and as proof I’d produce a Hershey bar– I also mentioned that a blue furry monster sometimes used our downstairs bathroom and the way to know when he recently peed in the toilet was the water turned the exact shade of his fur when you flushed. I always said this after our mom put those navy colored Clorox drop-in disks in our commode!) So last April 1st, I told this overtrusting brother of mine that many of the Beatles songs were indeed about me and that our parents kept changing my name thru the years to preserve my privacy. He bought that I was Sexy Sadie, Lovely Rita, Hey Jude, Long Tall Sally, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and even Michelle, Ma Belle — though he knew I wasn’t ever french. He may have been gullible, but apparently I underestimated his math skills because one day he pointed out that I was just being born in 1964, the very same year the Beatles burst onto the American Scene. Oh well.
  5. Straight Face: If anyone doubts your sincerity during this April Fool’s joke, all you need to do is perform your own personal rendition of Carly Simon’s, “I’m So Vain, I probably think this song is about me, don’t I? Don’t I?”

If you’re a female and would like other April Fool’s Day options (albeit a bit racier) just click RIGHT HERE for my last year’s post.

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Want Attention? Just Say You’re Getting Rid of Something!

IMG_3404Parker Brothers used to hold the monopoly on making a big media production over retiring an iconic object. In February they took a vote and announced which piece would leave their famous board game.  It turns out that seams aren’t the only thing ripped from archaic sewing rooms because THE THIMBLE was voted to be torn from Monopoly’s token collection when it was deemed esoteric (Personally I think the word “esoteric” should have been retired from our vocabulary long ago!) and given a big “thumbs” down. The thimble, really?? Well, I’ll be “darned.”

Oy. Do we really care about any of this??

Of course we don’t. At least not anymore. Because this earth-shattering news just paled in comparison to the latest vivid revelation . . .

Today (on National Crayon Day, doncha know?) Crayola finally disclosed (while holding us in suspense for as long as it takes to scrub Burnt Sienna off our bathroom wall after our child throws a tantrum) which classic color will be swiftly retired from their 24-pack.

Turns out DANDELION has been weeded out and put to pasture!

Well color me surprised! Can you really garner this much attention over retiring something? And now people are really getting worked up because it’s been proclaimed that the replacement crayon will be “blueish.” But that’s as descriptive as Crayola cares to get (for now!) because . . . (drum roll!) it seems that WE all get to submit an explicit suggestion for the blue crayon’s new unique name!

Frankly, I’d just be tickled pink if simple tricks like these worked in my life to garner me some respect and fanfare.

It’s worth a go . . .

ME: Hey kids, guess what? I’m retiring an object from our silverware drawer. You’ll never guess what it is, but care to try??

YOUNGEST SON: Wait, we have a silverware drawer? Where is it?? I just grab forks for my scrambled eggs straight out of the dishwasher.

OLDER SON: What?? You get served scrambled eggs! I just get a bowl of Cheerios slapped down in front of me.

DAUGHTER: And ewww, you take stuff from the dishwasher?? Those crusted, baked-on dishes have been sitting in that Maytag appliance since mom was pregnant and we threw a shower for you. And you’re 13-years-old now. Not a baby anymore.

ME:  That’s it, I knew you guys would  guess it! That’s exactly what I’m retiring from the silverware drawer — his tiny baby spoon! Shall we call Gerber? Channel 7 news? Parker Brothers? And now let’s think of a fun name to call the new utensil that will take its place! For a prize of course . . .

I watched as one-by-one they grabbed Oreos, shoved them in their mouths, and filed out of the kitchen, eying me in that way they did when I remarked that Adele’s song “Hello From The Other Side” was about a ghost in the afterlife.

However (to be fair) later on I received a cryptic text from my 15-year-old that said simply, “Spork!!!  Now what do I win?”

Ugh. Next try will be with my boyfriend…

ME: Honey, there’s something very important that I’ve used a lot, but now that I’m menopausal, I think it’s the right time to say goodbye to it.

HIM: Well it can’t be your gym shoes.

ME:  I’m retiring my diaphragm.

HIM: Interesting. Won’t you need that to breathe??

Everyone’s a comic. After I retired aspartame from my diet (and replaced it with Sucralose) and nobody seemed to notice, (or care) I took one last shot at an official announcement.

Because three times is a charm.

ME: Hey everyone, I’ve finally made a decision. I’m gonna retire something that’s long overdue to be gone. Can you guess what it is?

EVERYONE: Your so called humor blog??? “Once Upon Your Prime!” OMG! That’s fantastic news. And don’t worry, we’ll all visit it every year in the old folk’s home out in the blogosphere. Yay! So let’s have a big party! We’ll even eat your cake with Sporks! Anything you want. But we just can’t wait to celebrate bidding good riddance to that bland, bloated, blabbermouth blog of yours!!!

Great, that’s just great. But at least now I have a suggestion for the name of the new  crayon that’s replacing Dandelion. “Bland, Bloated, Blabbermouth Bloggy Blue!” What do ya say, Crayola??

A close up shot of a bunch of colorful crayons

Making Memes Magically Manifest Magnificent Masses!

 

kittens4Or in other (non-alliterative) words — yep, you can create simple memes that will drive more traffic to your blog! And you don’t need a pair of 8-week-old kittens (like I just so happen to have!) in order to do so. But having original photography on a riveting subject will definitely help you get around those pesky copyright issues.

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The ability to think up a correlating funny cliche, pun, or witty wordplay also REALLY helps boost the meme’s popularity. Plus at the end of this post I will put a link to my favorite custom meme generator that any dummy can figure out how to use, as aptly demonstrated here.

But first, the most important matter at hand….a few posts ago, I took a vote on names for two tiny litter mates that I was adopting. They’re here now and I’m introducing them officially as “Ritz & Bits!”  (Because you’ve heard of Animal Crackers, right?)

IMG_3316  IMG_3317ritz crackers

Ritz & Bits (along with eliciting lotsa joy, play, innocence, and tons of creativity in the form of great excuses for why my kids are incapable of doing litter-box chores!) have inadvertently brought more followers to my blog than anything I’ve ever written. And all because I turned their cute photos into memes AND remembered to put my blog name at the bottom before posting on Facebook or Tweeting.

Below are some more memes that I made in my sleep. Okay, that’s simply an expression to convey how easy it was because I do NOT sleep anymore. Between the insomnia, the writing deadlines, the strange prowler noises I hear, and now little alien beings that pounce on my tiniest foot movements, I get zero shut-eye.kittens7

But (above) I seem to have inherited a pair of furry house-slippers, albeit mismatched colors!

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Above they’re only six weeks old but I’m pretty sure the one on the right helped me conquer my phobia with white mice because I swore he looked just like one.

Here they’ve taken up blogging so I’ve got competition . . .

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And together we’re collaborating on a sequel for Dirty Dancing and remaking this famous scene . . . kittens10

Now below is an example of what NOT to do. As darling of a meme as this could have been, I wrecked it by trying to cram more clever into its wordage than additives in my kittens’ organic food. Instead of piquing interest and luring readers to my blog — the reaction was, “Huh? Weird much? Steer clear of anything this oddball writer posts!”cats2

On the other hand when you have show-stopping eyes, you don’t have to write anything much at all in your meme, but you can never go wrong with simplistic — as you can see below.cat6

And sometimes you’ll miss the obvious . . . cats1

Above I should have just said, “Who’s up for a quick round of CAT-TERGORIES?” But that’s the beauty of a meme, you can rework it until it finally goes viral.

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Not to imply that any of these have gone viral. But like I said, if increasing blog followers is your goal – – then definitely make some memes!  And then sell some product on your site to take advantage of the extra traffic, making it all worth your while ($$!) I’m planning to sell the little jingle bells you see my kittens wearing on their collars, only for children to wear around their necks because . . . well the need is obvious.

I also have a little (jealous) dog who’s a female and I was certain she’d be very maternal with the two new family members. So no more mention of kittens, Lola’s cute enough to have a meme of her own too, right?

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Oh well, I tried to keep the kittens out of the memes.

Now just to make it clear that this blog hasn’t been taken over by a Crazy Cat Lady, I will give you an example of making a meme that doesn’t make people murmur, “Mmmm, How sweet!” or “What deliciousness!”

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Now go meme away YOUR life and don’t forget to put your blog name on the bottom so you’ll reap the benefits.  Just click HERE to start!  Any questions?  I’ll answer you purrfectly in the comments section, without scratching your eyes out….I promise.

How to Portray a New Image (not necessarily an accurate one!) Using Social Media

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Alrighty, so interestingly enough WE (that would be you AND I) are no different than popular products that companies advertise. Why? Because we all want to be well-received by the public and we like to think of ourselves as having a solid warranty, right?

I don’t know about you, but I never looked at things quite in that light when I first attempted to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  — so now I have to do a major “rebranding” of myself as a person.

And maybe so do you?

You know, like how McDonalds used to just make America fat, but now they look like Starbucks and serve salads! And how Target used to be just another low-brow discount store but now it carries Fiorucci, Mizrahi, Giannulli, and Fusilli. (Note: these’ll make you hungry for Italian food, but only the last one is actually pasta — the first three are high-profile designers!)

Here are some tips for using each of the popular online networks to do a major personal revamp! It is worth mentioning that you can project an entirely different image of yourself on each separate one. For instance, I can use Twitter to rebrand myself as a well-regarded author (who doesn’t look like Starbucks, or serve salads!) and then Instagram for depicting myself as an ultra-fun friend! And Facebook to get the word out that I’m the latest sex symbol to put Marilyn to shame. (Uh, that’d be Marilyn Manson!) Basically you can characterize yourself however you want, so use your imagination!

And Now Without Further Adieu . . .  (What’s adieu and why is it always escaping being held hostage?)

TWITTER: If you lose your train of thought after 140 characters like I do, then Tweets are perfect for the reinventing process! Also due to the abrupt nature of the post, you should intentionally cut yourself off mid-sentence to invoke intrigue. i.e. Here’s a recent one of mine implying I’m a sought after author — “Meeting with my agent today for a power lunch and heavy negotiations about . . . ” (Oops, ran out of characters!) Nobody needs to know it’s actually my health insurance Agent and I’m trying to get a dental plan added on!

SNAPCHAT: Also ideal since what you post vanishes after 10 seconds, which is coincidentally the maximum timespan of my memory! I like to put out a photo of me dancing on tables (with my bra on top of my head) or swinging from chandeliers (which are actually Polaroids from my college sorority days!) but by the time all my highfalutin decorator friends zoom in to scrutinize the texture of the tablecloth or the brand of the chandelier, the whole thing magically disappears! Meanwhile, the lingering effect is me as fun party girl that everyone now wants to invite to their next shindig.

FACEBOOK:  Posting extremely frequently is the key here so you’ll get comments and likes literally around-the-clock. It also helps to have every day be your birthday so you have a constant stream of well-wishers. For instance, each night at midnight I go into FB settings and modify my date of birth to the following day. Instantly, all my Facebook Friends trip over themselves to leave their best regards in the comments section, complete with custom kitten memes and colorful cakes with candle pics, etc. I use this particular “365 day a year birthday” technique because I want to create the image that I am a “Born-Again.”

INSTAGRAM: Liberally use hashtags here. Trust me, you won’t get a reputation for being a cannabis dealer but you may constantly order hash-browns at brunch restaurants. Also to stand out, whilst everyone else is posting their silly selfies, you should post shelfies because this will project an image that you are still a bookworm in a Kindle Kingdom. Celfies (photos of you munching lotsa celery) are a good way to make people believe you’re a health nut or a Vegan.

PINTEREST: I make specific boards by tagging certain “guilt-inducing” photos to give my grown kids (who’ve flown the nest without nary a backwards glance!) some subliminal suggestions. I created one with lots of crafty projects of old, skinny, wrinkled, gray-haired sock puppets on crutches. I titled it “self-portraits.” So far nobody has come home for a visit, but I remain optimistic. Another board has pictures of adorably decorated baby nurseries with sad-looking dolls in the crib. I’m hoping that will propel me into “Nanna” status before I’m too old to see or hear any grandchildren. Another album has hundreds of photos of ET phoning home. Cleverly subtle, yet maybe too subtle — so far my cell hasn’t buzzed once.

LINKEDIN: I like to use LinkedIn to represent myself as being highly qualified to do anything and everything. Did you know you can make a resume for playing with kittens? Because that’s one of my top-notch skillsets.

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TEXTING: Yes! You can even use your cellphone for revising your stale reputation. It’s all done through an act I like to call, “Mistaken Texts On Purpose!” I am sure at one time or another you’ve received an odd message and afterwards the sender immediately wrote, “Never mind that! Meant for someone else.” Meanwhile can you unsee it?? Of course not. So use this method to intentionally transfer information to someone whose opinion of you needs to be readjusted. Your ex broke up with you because you’re a loser? Send this “accidental” text to him/her. “Hey! Can you ask the bank to hold off on closing escrow on my beach home, the lottery officials said my first 80 million will transfer at the close of business hours today. Thanks.” Followed by a, “Sorry! Disregard that last text. Hope all is well!”

WORDPRESS BLOG: Use WordPress every chance you get to throw your followers off track. You want to keep writing strange, quirky, “so bad it’s definitely putrid” posts so that when you hit the New York Times with your bestselling novel, everyone will be so surprised you could knock them over with a feather. Then go on Etsy and use it to market colorful, unique feathers.

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Home Publishing Not What You Think!

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“How can I get up on our refrigerator like all my friends do?” my youngest son asked me. After admonishing him that household furniture isn’t for climbing on top of, (and shaking my head at other parents’ inability to properly discipline) I realized he was actually inquiring as to how one of his watercolor paintings could be displayed on the front of the fridge!

Along with plastic bright-colored alphabet letters, (even though I have zero preschoolers anymore!) and the tiny nonsense magnetic poetry words (someone recently pushed a few random tiny rectangles together to form the sentence, “I will pour out yesterday after we love today and squirt out tomorrow!”) the fridge spotlighted his five older siblings’ important school flyers, report cards, old photographs, party invitations, announcements, pencil doodles, and yep, tons of really cool student art.

All of this paper paraphernalia was tacked up in such overcrowded disarray, the built-in purified water dispenser was probably anticipating an eviction notice.

But hey, (now that he mentioned it!) it dawned on me that my son wasn’t the only one excluded. Nothing of mine had made it up onto those shiny stainless-steel paneled doors (which I now considered so prestigious, they rivaled The New Yorker. And received more hungry stares a day than a big time magazine’s circulation!) either, and I was supposedly the Queen of this here kitchen. Hmmph. A new career goal was born.

Mustering up my self-confidence, I finally submitted something to The Refrigerator, and here’s what happened.

Dear Author,

Thank you for breaking the ice and trying us with your recent listicle cleverly titled, “Groceries Needed for Sunday’s Bridal Shower.” While we feel it has a certain ravenous charm, the subject matter may not be cool enough for the fresh image our staff strives to preserve. But chill out (and don’t get cold feet!) because we’ve forwarded your piece on to another appliance whose sleek surface we feel may be a better fit.

Cheers,

Frigidaire, side-by-side model #FFPSS2677RF

Next came this.

Dear Writer,

Hey, what’s cooking? I’ve received your work for possible inclusion in our upcoming doorthology. Though I quickly warmed up to the idea of featuring specific food brands, I’m not so hot on possible copyright infringement. Could Betty Crocker sue? That’s the burning question!. At this point in time, I think I’ll pass, but your concept will go on the back burner for a future issue and I invite you to send something else so I can evaluate your range. Piece of cake, right?

Yours Truly,

General Electric Convection Oven

I was feeling truly rejected but he also must’ve forwarded my submission to another colleague because this notice quickly arrived.

Dear Dishpan Hands,

We appreciate you thinking of us as a possible placement for your original endeavor, but currently we’re at maximum capacity and fully loaded with other people’s work.  Try us again during our normal cycle as we often miss a spot and then we might see the glass as half-empty. Future submission guidelines include staying energy efficient and editing out dirty words, as our motto is “Keep it clean.” Hopefully this wasn’t a detergent err a deterrent in your publishing career.

Sparklingly Yours,

Whirlpool 24 Inch Built-In Dishwasher

I gave up all hope and concluded that my writing would never see the light of day on a kitchen display. And that’s when I got the next best thing . . . 

Dear Little Miss Menopause,

Congratulations on taking the plunge with your writing because you’ve just bowled me over!  I’m flushed with pride to accept your recent work and will post it prominently as soon as I get a handle on our next issue, but let’s just say, “you’ll be on a roll now!” I know it stinks, but please keep a lid on your excitement and don’t go clogging blogging about this news just yet.

Have a nice day!

Downstairs Guest Bathroom Toilet

There was only one thing left to do . . . write a
“Dear John” letter to thank him for giving me this porcelain publication promotion.

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This Man Knows Me Inside-Out (and he’s never even met me!)

BLOG_freelancers_H-645x285Not a day goes by that I don’t get an email from this most perceptive, intuitive, and thoroughly insightful guy. An online relationship expert I’ll call “The Love Bug” to protect his privacy here.

How he found me in the first place, I’ll never know — but I’ve been utterly fascinated by his email subject titles. And he apparently personally writes them all JUST FOR ME because my name is always front and center.

Have a look at some screenshots of his emails. First he tells me that I’m dreadful dating material . . .

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But he can hear my sighs!

And he’s “got” me.

Next comes this . . .

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Wow, he really does think I’m the problem. So I read it. And he’s 100% right. It’s an utter fiasco dating myself. I tell myself stale jokes I’ve heard 100 times before, I never like what I order in restaurants, and I toss and turn in bed — plus steal my own blankets.

So then he goes on to suggest . . .

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I guess since I’m a “difficult date” I’ll need to settle for cyber. But it seems I’ve already got “an interesting man” writing to me. Every. Single. Day. “The Love Bug!” And yes, I certainly do know the deal. (And the drill.)

He follows it up with some fascinating questions in his subject titles. Things I’d never dared wonder about before. Like this . . .

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Although I was kinda hoping those two things had been minimized after I had my breast reduction surgery.

And then something everyone should ask themselves at one time or another . . .

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Gosh. We both receive rocks on Halloween night?

Then he just starts shooting out a bunch of (apparently!) necessary advice.

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I quickly solved the “walking all over me” problem by buying an Oriental rug, so guys could step on that instead.

He must’ve approved of that solution because next I get this:FullSizeRender (71)

And here I thought all along that I WAS THE BAD DATE??

Next he sent a surprising revelation that was a bit hard to swallow:

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Why are you even in this business then???

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Not really. But now that he mentions brooms, I don’t like it when men sweep stuff under the rug. In fact I absolutely HATE that behavior. But I should have guessed Love Bug knows me better than even I know myself, because he writes back quickly — this time reiterating the 3 other things he knows I hate besides avoidant men . . .

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But hey, at least he put that comma in-between “hate” and “Stephanie” (see pic above) or else I’d be getting a complex right about now.

Well now it seems he thinks there’s still a little hope for me because he sends this subject title next.

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I decide this must be one POTENT email and I’ll save it for someone super special. Finally I decide upon George Clooney. I forward the above email to my handsome (unrequited) celebrity with a message asking him to merely read it (and then prepare to fall head over heels for yours truly!) but so far it’s done nothing for him. I subsequently also let my mailman get a quick peek at the email and now he’s smiling more often at me, so it wasn’t a total loss.

But apparently Love Bug thought both George and the postal worker were bad choices because I got this:

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And how come I don’t have any recollection of emailing him back??  I am starting to get worried about what else I don’t remember doing!

So I write to him, (this time consciously!) making my case that my mailman was actually pretty nice and now I even get my packages carried up to my front porch!

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“I don’t think so,” I write back. “He’s now taken to sorting all my junk mail and puts the coupons on top! I may just have to play ‘postman’ with him soon!”

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OMG!  I was only joking around! I value old-fashioned letter-carriers who wear uniforms, so sue me. But I can assure you, I am NOT a loose woman. Doesn’t he know that about me already? (Also did you notice he mentions a wife here??? Does SHE know he corresponds with me every day?? Hmmm)

Then the Love Bug does something incredible! He proves to me he’s not like every other man I meet by sending these two subjects back to back!

 

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Wow, I am so impressed with his integrity and humility. So I write him again and say, “All is forgiven. I don’t really think the mailman is all that hot anyhow. Actually I don’t find any male all that hot.

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Honestly, nobody likes a Know-it-all!

And then comes his first astonishing confession . . .

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Seriously?? Well I know it was NOT with me. I would have remembered something like that. I have a friend Tiffany, who also receives this same love expert’s email advice, (so much for my personal name shining in the subject!) so perhaps he cheated with Tiffany? The hussy. Turns out she read the same message and thought it was with me he’d been philandering with.

By then The Love Bug follows this shocker up with another email saying, “just teasing” and actually he had gone all Dorothy on us! He really hadn’t committed an infidelity — he thought he had cheated but then he woke up and it was just a dream he had of being an adulterer, like the tired plot device in The Wizard of Oz. But he did describe this dream in vivid detail to his loving wife who simply said, “That’s nice, honey. Shall we have lamb or chicken tonight?” He then used this entire scenario to illustrate the ultimate trust between a man and woman.

At this point, I am thinking I’ve had just about enough of this guy’s bizarre 6th sense and his other shenanigans as well, so I casually click unsubscribe.

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Alrighty then, do you see what he’s doing here?? He’s projecting how he feels about my leaving his email-subscription list onto me.

So I thought I’d make it perfectly clear who is pulling away from whom just one more time, so I send an email with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject title.

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Really, Love Bug Sir?!  You’re still doing this reverse psychology thing on me?  Let’s get things straight. I’m pulling away from YOU and YOU’RE the desperate one doing the luring!

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Clearly this is a dig that he is now going to make Tiffany his main cyber gal. FINE WITH ME! So I write back and tell him I’ve had better relationship advice from a lady bug and the only reason I can justify his being “The Love Bug” is because he’s starting to really bug me and he should buzz off!

FullSizeRender (100)Interesting reframe. I insult him and tell him off and he calls it “sharing.” I decide ignoring him is the best plan. He continues to send me emails and finally this….

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Haha! Even my six kids don’t stoop to that dumb tact when they want me to pay attention to them. I ignore some more. He tries flattery.

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And it’s not even Thanksgiving! I write back that I am also grateful for the time we had together and don’t mean to nitpick, but I’m just not feeling it anymore.

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I don’t see any need to defend myself for not liking mushrooms, olives, or him — so I write back saying I actually now have a solid boyfriend and am moving on to home decorating expert email lists.

He tries the “ticking clock” stunt on me.

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Then he tosses out some random Kenny Roger’s poker advice.

FullSizeRenderFollowed by another personal insult because obviously he knows my large bra cup size too.

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Triggered, I quickly fire back that my boyfriend tells me all the time how much he adores my breasts, thank you very much.

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That does it. He’s just begging for it now! I start my own email list regarding, “Advice For Online Relationship Coaches.” I harass him every night before I go to sleep with subjects like, “Hi Love Bug! Do You Know if You’ve Helped a Couple or Just Instigated a Divorce?” and “What Happens When an Email listee Contacts Your Wife and Tells Her She’s The Subject of Much of Your Relationship Advice, Love Bug?”

Finally I can’t resist and send one final email with a subject header that says, “What Do You and Lucy (From the Peanuts comic strip) Have in Common?” In the body of the email it says, “Both of your advice is worth about 5 cents!

I never heard from Love Bug again.

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Hi Readers – – This was a fun blog for me to write, but because the emails were legit, I blocked out any identifying information with those silly hat images. But maybe you recognize the guy’s blue collared shirt?? DISCLAIMER: Before you feel too sorry for me, you might notice the dates of his emails are all out of order. I took them out of context to add humor in this mostly fictional tale where the main point was a woman (me!) thinking someone is writing to her PERSONALLY just because her name is on it, when it’s really sent out to the masses.

Rehash the Backlash From Oscar Bash?

Screen-Shot-2017-01-19-at-9.44.57-AM-520x245.pngAs a retired event planner, I feel obligated to throw a few shindigs now and again to keep my party skills sharp — and the Oscars gave me a good excuse to have a little gala in my small in-home theatre last night.

The first dilemma was a forced imposed guest limit due to constraints of having only eight “official cinema” seats. Because of “chair scarcity,” each seat became valuable real-estate and thus my desire to fill it with non-flaky people (who would actually rsvp in a timely manner and follow-thru with showing up) was escalated.

I decided to make this a casual Ladies Only get-together so I invited a group of compatible women who knew one another from book club and to make it more fun, I wrote, “Come in pajamas!” One by one, as rsvp’s slowly trickled in and were mainly “No’s” (What’s this? Nobody mentioned I would be cooking!) I would re-invite someone new to replace the original declining guest — again wanting to insure all 8 seats were filled was my goal.

Soon it became almost an entirely new guest list where nobody really knew one another like they did before, but I told myself the Oscars would keep us entertained.

I also thought it would be fun (again being overly ambitious with prior party planning creativity) to hold a contest to predict the most winners (with a prize) and to have a “Dear Oscar” activity with guests anonymously writing down their personal dilemmas (think Dear Abby) and me reading them aloud during commercials when we’d chime in with advice.

Simple so far, right? Easy Peasy La-La Landeasy! Here’s how it all went down:

*Lady #1: Hi! Glad I made it. What a cute movie room this is. Um … all purple? Well I’m just grateful I can stay in my nightgown! I brought shrimp cocktails for everyone.

Me: How nice. I should have mentioned you’re the only one from the original guest list. The other women are actually now Jewish and don’t eat shellfish.

Lady #2: (sniffing, looking #1 over) Also we actually took the time to put our clothes on.

Me: Oh, that’s not her fault. Excuse me . . . Sweetie — please don’t do that to the chair. It’s not a leather recliner.

Lady #4: Hmph, well I have a bad back, however I’ll try to stay until Best Supporting Actor, only because I love Jeff Bridges.

Me: But that’s the very first award. Sheesh, can you at least call in for ‘backup?’ No pun intended, but I really want all 8 chairs occupied.

Lady # 6: Do we have to fill out these Oscar ballots? Ever since the November election, I get nauseas voting.

Lady #1: That’s the shrimp smell. I stashed the platter under my seat.

Lady #4: You mean the cheap-o seats that won’t lean back.

Lady #2: Dear Abby, err Oscar — How to handle it when someone comes to a party dressed inappropriately?

Me: I told you, NOT her fault. Her invitation said ‘Pajama Party.’ And please don’t read your question aloud, they’re supposed to be anonymous.

Lady #5: Shhhh, I can’t hear who the nominees are for Best Depressing Film.

Lady #6: Don’t worry, A Dog’s Purpose will win that. The cute little guy gets reincarnated and keeps dying.

Lady #3: That’s not a thing!

Lady #6: Well, I happen to believe in getting recycled even if you have a tail!

Lady #3: No, I meant there’s no ‘Best Depressing’ category.

Lady #7: Her screen is depressing. Is that just a white bed sheet?

Me: Excuse me, but who are you? And do you ever get told you resemble Jeff Bridges?

Man #1: Hi! My wife had a bad back and called me to be her replacement seat-warmer.

Lady #2: Dear Oscar, There’s a woman here breaking many of the Lord’s commandments. She eats shrimp, she’s scantily clad amongst a married man, and she’s only seen Schindler’s List once. What to do?

Me: Please, I’ll read all those questions during commercials. Yoo hoo over there! Sorry, but that popcorn machine doesn’t work. It’s only decoration.

Lady #7: Really? Wow. Okay I’ll take a large Sprite with extra ice, plus Junior Mints and nachos without jalapeños because I get heartburn.

Lady #5: Heartburn was a good movie with Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

Lady #6: I correctly predicted Special Effects, Makeup, and Best Original Score. What do I win?

Lady #3: There’s a man hiding in that corner. He seems like a real prize.

Me: I will hand out a cute gift basket I created when I tally up the votes at the end of the show.

Lady #4: Seriously? That will take hours. Especially if they change their minds about the winners.

Me: All winners are final at the Oscars!

Lady #7: I saw this supposed “cute gift basket” in the guest bathroom. It’s just leftover Valentine’s junk.

Lady #1: Okay everyone, say Meryl Streeeeeeeep. Smile!

Me: Stop! No photography!

Lady #1: Is that a Jewish law too??

Me: No, I don’t want any pictures on social media.

Lady #7: Cuz she’s ashamed of having a theater with uncomfortable seats.

Me: No, I don’t want all my other POLITE friends to feel slighted at not being invited.

Lady #5: Hey, that’s a good title for your blog: ‘Slighted at Not Being Invited!’

All Ladies: OMG. If you’re going to blog about this, we’re leaving. We thought it was just ladies and so we didn’t put any makeup on.

Lady #2: And some of us have no clothes on!

Man #1: That’s totally cool. But I hate to say it, this Oscar show is messed up big time. They just announced the wrong winner for Best Picture.

All Ladies: OMG. Your sound system is the worst. Warren Beatty would’ve announced the correct winner if we watched it in our own homes.

Me: Dear Oscar, Please remind me the next time I think about planning a party — there’s a GOOD reason I retired.

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* All names have been changed to numbers (not for anonymity) because the author was extremely proud to have accomplished filling all 8 purple (yes, purple) seats above!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with a NON-Jealous Mate

jealousy-cause-and-cureYou may reread that headline and decide it’s probably a typo. Or you may think having a NON-jealous mate is actually a good thing! And that may be true except … when it’s not.

Bear with me as I relate the following conversation:

Me: So I had lunch today with my publisher, Jamie.

Him: Nice. Whadya order?

Me: Salad. You know . . . Jamie IS a unisex name. Aren’t you suspicious that my publisher is a guy? And feeling a bit concerned that I had lunch alone with a male?

Him: Nope.

Me: Well he is. And he’s actually VERY male.

Him: That’s nice. Glad to know my gender values books.

Now stop right there.  I know, I know. This illustrates he’s perfectly secure within himself. Also it shows he has a ton of faith and confidence in me and our relationship, trusting I’m not going anywhere.

But what does this say about his perception of my potential value and attractiveness? He doesn’t bat an eye that someone else might find me worthy of coveting! jealousy

Metaphor Time:  Every Friday I drag my overflowing trashcans out to the curb. I never worry someone will come by and flirt with my garbage when I’m not around, or try to take it for their own pleasure. And it’s not because I have a trusting relationship with my rubbish . . . well the recyclables maybe. But now consider this – – parked in my driveway is a shiny, new red Mazda. And you better believe I installed an alarm system on that baby!

Aha! What does this tell you? That’s why I just had to find out more. So I told my best friend to call our home phone several times a day and hang up when he answered.

Him: Darn telemarketers.

Seriously?? So I bought myself some beautiful flowers.

Him: That’s so nice that your older kids would send you an early mother’s day bouquet.

Grrrrrr. So I made a big production out of carrying in a mysterious brown wrapped package from the front porch late one night.

Him: Wow. Who’d guess Nordstrom delivers after midnight?

Ugh. So I secretly opened it in my closet, then intentionally left its contents (a lacy negligee with tags still on) out for him to stumble upon.

Him: Ha. Someone actually believes you could wear a size extra-Small.

That does it.

Me: Haven’t you been the least bit concerned over the past few days? And haven’t you seen the amount of friend requests I receive on Facebook from men who look wild with desire?

Him: Yes. I meant to tell you to stop posting those graphic pics of your brisket and brownies.

Me: Sheesh. What will it take for you to feel threatened? To fight over me? To challenge someone to a duel?

Him: (looks around) Is that last question directed at me or did Sir Lancelot just ride into the room?

Me: OMG! Well, would you at least rescue me if I was tied down to the railroad tracks and a speeding train was imminently approaching?

Him: North or Southbound? Sorry. Absolutely. Of course. No question.

Finally! I decided to stop (the hypothetical questions) while I was ahead. He didn’t need to know that (in my mind) the reason I was tied to those tracks was because Jamie, (my VERY manly publisher) had shouted in a fit of jealousy, “If I can’t have you, then nobody can have you!”

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I love hearing from you. Tell me if you get jealous or if your mate ever does?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/rhythmic/

How to Guide (and Chide) From the Other Side!

tumblr_static_cs_theothersideidentity-1If I can just get organized enough, I’ll be able to communicate with all six of my kids (and by communicate, I mean nag) well beyond the grave.

And so will you! Because any self-respecting, obsessive control freak will admit if they could be assured they’d continue to exert the same level of power and control over their loved ones after they’re gone, death will be a highly enjoyable experience!

I’ve figured out a way to do it with the written word!

I’ve actually always used my writing for this purpose. The night before any surgery or cross-country flights, I print out letters “to be opened in the event of my unexpected death” ensuring nothing is ever left unsaid.

Yep I take the phrase, “Any final requests?” quite literally and boy do I make a lot of them!

This isn’t a morbid thing to do when you consider people have issues with “lack of closure” that are so prevalent, they put many psychotherapists’ kids through college.

But most challenging is who will distribute my abundant quantity of heartfelt correspondence? I can just hear my sister lamenting, “Who has time to properly grieve for Stephanie? I’m delivering more letters to her offspring than a U.S. postal carrier on Valentine’s Day!”

And I can’t ask any of my friends or neighbors to do it. One is already tasked (the moment she hears I’m dearly departed) to rush over, shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows, and lay my body out in some kind of Marilyn Monroe position. Another has committed to checking all toilets are properly flushed, sinks scrubbed, and confirming there’s no dog hair on the living room white couch. Finally, the busybody across the street guarantees she’ll make sure my children won’t wear white if my funeral is held after Labor Day.

That’s right – I’ve got Glamour magazine, Martha Stewart, Emily Post, Gladys Kravitz, and The Grim Reaper all rolled into one!

But now guess what?  We can all breathe a sigh of relief and check “Interventions From The Afterlife” off our To-Do lists because I discovered it’s as simple as composing well-timed emails and companies like THIS will take care of everything for you!

That’s right –there are online services that will facilitate sending your next of kin hauntingly beautiful messages (that you write!) postmortem.

My new plan is simple — anticipate all six of my children’s upcoming happy milestones, as well as all their problems, issues, decisions, shortcomings, downfalls, emergencies, divorces, illnesses, job losses, etc. (I can skillfully do this because I hold an advanced degree in Catastrophizing) and then pour out my unique motherly advice, suggestions, tips, guidelines, instructions, admonishments (And because I’m Jewish — brisket recipes and guilt!) to fill up their inboxes during all future appropriate moments.

But with this new age solution comes an age-old problem, namely money. Costs for these emailing services get calculated per word and that will never work for me. Mind you, Adele’s popular song; “Hello From The Other Side” doesn’t begin to hold a candle to the amount of one-sided conversation I intend to send through the years.

I’ll never be able to afford to speak my mind!

So because I plan to remain ever the frugal mother after my departure, (and until these companies offer coupons!) I’ve come up with an alternate no-cost option. It involves just relying on the simple every day world for crucial communication. You know, like “signs” that hold special significance?

I’ve even devised elaborate codes (with a witty deciphering key included) so now family will be able to interpret all my many future messages 100% FREE.

Examples:

If a Crow Soars Overhead = Work is for the “birds,” son. Tell your boss you need a vacation and book a “flight” to Hawaii to relax soon!

If a Train Passes By = “Track” down your sister right now for goodness sake, and take her to lunch before your relationship totally “derails.”

If the Cubs Get Into the World Series = Don’t even think about going to “2nd base” with that jerky new guy you’re dating!

If Your Apartment Gets Burglarized and then a Cop (which Starts with the Letter C) puts Handcuffs on the Robber’s Wrists = My diamond bracelet (Yes, the one you always begged me to wear to school dances) is now safely hidden inside your bottle of Vitamin C, which I knew you’d never take.

If The Sun Rises = Always remember your bright mother will love (and nag!) you for all eternity.

And on and on it will go (I have a completed ‘dictionary’ with equivalent meanings all spelled out!) so my kids are guaranteed to spend the rest of their dying days walking around observing stuff that contains messages from me — Yep, they’ll never rest in peace!

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A Kitten Saga (Cast Your Vote!)

fullsizerender-44Here is a cautionary tale about what can happen if you have OCD and kittens become involved.

It began innocently enough — **a strange cat with no collar wandered into our house and my kids were thrilled to have some temporary pet variety, (we only have one small dog) but they were told the key word was TEMPORARY.

My Kids: Please??? . . .

Me: We absolutely cannot keep him. He belongs to someone else. And we are under NO circumstances ever getting a cat, so just put that idea out of your heads.

But I never said anything about kittens. Fast forward to current day when the adult cat left us, and a certain 13-year-old boy (who somehow inherited my obsessive/compulsiveness) scoured the internet for days on end searching for available kittens, then wrote pleading emails nominating our family’s candidacy as the perfect new owner. We visited 6 different litters (but ONLY because I like to see people’s home decorating styles) and now lo and behold — we’ll be bringing these TWO balls of fluff (pictured everywhere in this post!) into our household.

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But we cannot have them FOR ANOTHER MONTH.  Apparently they’re too small and must stay with their mother until they’re weaned. Have you ever?? I can’t even. What a wicked breeder! Clearly that’s just a made-up excuse so their lucky family gets to enjoy this adorable kitten stage as long as possible, using up all their cuteness before they finally come to us.

Okay, so it’s Valentine’s Day. Try newly falling in love with someone really soft (or two someones!) and then being apart for four full weeks. It makes you crazy wondering how they are doing, if they’re eating right, if they’re warm enough, why they never write or call, etc. Note: You may have to be a Jewish mother to relate to this.

Meanwhile the owner of the kittens (and the nursing mama cat) has no clue I fanatically stalk her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, downloading the proud photos she posts of these little critters. I need these updated pics to keep me from (and believe me, I NEVER use this expression) “pining away.”

This woman also doesn’t know I’m very close to going all Glenn Close on her, picking her unsuspecting child up from school, taking her on a few roller coasters, in the hopes that she will befriend my kids, then frequently invite them over to her house to visit OUR kittens. And when I go to pick my children up, of course I’ll always be invited inside for tea.

All these complex schemes formulate in my OCD brain because this lady has a million different reasons why a strange (but loving) family of six shouldn’t visit her home on a daily basis. The nerve.

My Ex-Husband: There’s an obvious solution, Stephanie. Simply call her up, explain you desperately miss the kittens and you’re willing to take in the mother cat until they are weaned. Boom–Instant kittens!

Me: Already tried that, Smartiepants. She told me all new mothers feel insecure and therefore want to keep the same familiar people around them.

Ex-Husband. Interesting. Each time you gave birth to our kids, you told me to get lost.

My next plan? I just found out she uses Merry Maids, so I’ll be disguising myself as a cleaning lady, sucking up MY two kittens with a Hoover vacuum and then I’ll just be on my Merry way!

Alright so to help me obsessively pass the time until we get these two kittens, please vote on name options for this new little dynamic duo in the comments section. Thank you!

  • Sugar and Spice
  • Trix and Kix
  • Hocus and Pocus
  • Monty and Zuma
  • Ritz and Bitz
  • Tic and Toc
  • Nook and Cranny
  • Tisket and Tasket
  • Peek and Boo
  • Mango and Tango
  • Snap and Crackle
  • Tiddly and Winks
  • Bagels and Lox
  • Vice and Versa
  • YoYo and Jacks
  • Scrabble and Boggle
  • Topsy and Turvy
  • Abra and Cadabra
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And because this is a humor blog, if you think some of these names are wretched, I get to say, “Gosh, it was just a joke!” New suggestions welcome as well!

P.S. Did you know there’s a handy Children/Kitten contract that will stand up in court? Seriously! It’s all signed and notarized — so if certain children do not feed felines, change litter boxes, and even do other chores around the house while maintaining their current GPA, they can be sued and will suffer the loss of all electronics! Disclaimer: But under no circumstances will the kittens need to be forfeited. But nowhere does it say the children cannot be. 😉

Footnote ** The author is no stranger to bringing home stray animals and her father used to say, “Thank God elephants never get lost!”

Valentine Variations! (Verified Valuable & Vitalizing!)

12354272943_17d394cf5b_zValentine’s Day is a myopic, narrow-minded holiday solely dependent on Hallmark, hearts, flowers, chocolate, and guilt. That’s why I’ve come up with the innovative idea of merging Valentine’s Day with different national holidays so you get the added bonus of other celebrations and traditions to back up your intense sentiments.

Because sometimes LOVE is just not enough! 

Forget Food Combining, I’ve Got Holiday Combining! Ready??

Feb 14 + Dec. 31st – You say you want a resolution?  Well then write down some of your New Year Lover’s Resolutions that you’ll vow to keep this time. I’ll start you off…1. Even though now Little Miss Menopause is advocating Holiday Integration, I will no longer combine my mate’s birthday gift with our anniversary gift. 2. I will no longer snoop through my significant other’s pockets to see what they’ve been up to. I will be more hip and snoop thru their cellphone instead. 3. In restaurants, I will no longer annoyingly eat off their plate because I will already have swapped it for my own meal, since they always order better anyhow.

Feb 14 + Martin Luther King Day– Call up the love of your life and say, “I have a dream! That one day we will go out for Frozen Yogurt and instead of each of us ordering a separate small-sized chocolate and vanilla, we will integrate both delectable dairy desserts together using that important middle lever, rejoicing as we watch both light and dark flavors swirl together into one harmonious large-sized cone!” If your partner finds this unacceptable, (or inquires as to the color of your toppings) resist the urge to call him a bigot and instead change your romantic speech to, “I have a scheme!” Then proceed to outline a devious plot regarding your mother-in-law.

Feb 14 + GroundHog Day — Work with me here, ok? Forget Punxsutawney Phil. Too hard to pronounce. In fact Change “Hog” to “Horse” and substitute seeing his “shadow” for seeing a “saddle.” Now we’re talking major romance! Blast Aerosmith’s hit song,”Back in the Saddle Again!” (stay with me now, alright?) as you drive down to a ranch that rents horses. Here’s the kicker–even though you’re two people, rent just ONE horse and sit in the saddle facing each other, which demonstrates unbridled passion. Don’t be a neighsayer just yet –this also proves you love each other enough to be saddled with all the responsibility that comes with it and that your relationship is stable, even if you do stirrup trouble sometimes. What does this have to do with Groundhog’s Day you ask?  Oh get off your high horse already — absolutely nothing. It’s just creative.

Feb 14 + Rosa Parks Day — Ever do it on the back of a bus??

Feb 14 + Lincoln’s Birthday — In honor of Honest Abe, you must confess any lies you’ve told your sweetheart, I don’t care if they are just white lies. Speaking of white, I’m getting to the freeing of the slaves part. If you’re female, denounce all housework for the day. If you’re male, take your secretary out to eat and tell her you’re done being a slavedriver. Note: The latter is liable to evoke jealousy in your wife so justify you’re also combining Valentine’s Day with Take Your Secretary to Lunch Day!

Feb 14 + Daylight’s Saving Time –Set all the clocks and watches in your home and car back one hour. This will make you so late that you’ll lose your reservation at that crowded, overpriced restaurant and have to eat at McDonalds. Now you can celebrate your frugality as a couple.

Feb 14 + Easter – Baskets, baby. It’s all about the wicker. Any gift you give each other should be in one. Also bunnies. You know what they do, right? Get busy in the cellophane green grass!

Feb 14 + Passover — Doesn’t matter if you’re not Jewish. Serve your lover matzo in between the sheets then say, “See? I’d never throw you out of bed for eating crackers!” Invent an 11th plague. It should have something to do with raining condoms.

Feb 14 + St. Patrick’s Day — This will ingeniously be all about holiday colors. Ready? Take red from Valentine’s and combine it with green for St. Paddy’s and what do you get? Christmas!  Brilliant! You’ve just covered three holidays now! But you should still take this opportunity to pinch your mate compulsively.

Feb 14 + Cinco De Mayo – You have a large sombrero? A sarape to hide behind? Great! Have her shake her maracas and we’re talking a very “buenas noches!”

Feb 14 + Take Your Daughter To Work Day — If you’re tired and want to guarantee there won’t be any “action” tonight, then tweak this holiday combination just a tad. Let your little girl stay home from your office and watch Cinderella instead. But do participate in”Take your Husband to the Gynecologist” day. Trust me, he’ll never get over it.

Feb 14 + Halloween — You dress in a french maid’s costume while your hubby is Iron Man. Knock on your neighbors’ doors, hand them your cellphone for a Selfie while yelling,”Click or Tweet!” You’ll soon break Twitter if everyone participates.

Feb 14 + Thanksgiving –  Express your extreme gratitude to your mate that you’re with someone nice and normal because you could could have ended up with a real whacko like me.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Leave me a comment and tell me how you’ll actually celebrate…

How NOT to Get a Literary Agent (In 20 Simple Steps)

 

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If you’re a mediocre writer and want an agent to sign you….marry one. But if you’re a talented writer, all it takes is getting your book into the hands of the right literary agent and BINGO….instant representation! Just don’t do as I say and definitely don’t do as I do below….

  1. Binge watch all I Love Lucy episodes and realize your intense desire to have an agent discover your writing talent is just as fierce (if not more) than that of the famous, hairbrained redhead wanting to break into show business at Ricky’s nightclub.
  2. Decide you need your own equivalent of “The Tropicana” and register for a Writers Conference, where there are sure to be a ton of hot agents scouring to sign new, fledgling authors like yourself.
  3. Go on the internet to check out the hotel layout and notice they have lots of elevators. Forget taking the stairs for health reasons! Craft a captivating elevator pitch! Practice a witty escalator pitch too, just in case the elevators are out of order.
  4. While waiting in the airport for your plane, research “what to say in person to grab an agent’s interest.” Discover they love it when you liken the plot of your book to a mixture of two well-known exciting movies.
  5. Unexpectedly cross paths with a real live literary agent seated across the aisle on your flight. Blurt out, “King Kong Versus Godzilla!”
  6. Recall how Lucy Ricardo received lots of attention implementing creative publicity stunts. Eye the tall roof of the hotel with visions of “landing as a woman from Mars.” Consider the conference swimming pool as a place for a staged drowning so an agent can rescue you as you sputter out the opening line of your new novel, along with spitting chlorinated water.
  7. Wander upon some colorful tables set up in the lobby with established authors sitting behind large colorful stacks of their newly released books, cheerfully autographing covers for (what looks like) hungry agents.
  8. Open your backpack and impulsively place ten of your own self-published books (that’s all you’ve brought to the conference) on a nearby janitor’s supply cart so that (much like a bowl of unattended Halloween candy left on the porch for trick-or-treaters) every last copy will be gobbled up by influential individuals in the book industry.
  9. On the way up to the 12th floor to change clothes for the evening’s festivities, “accidentally” lean against the emergency button, (lurching things to a stop between floors 8 and 9) so that this group of agents are now a captive audience for your book pitch, and bonus – you won’t have to keep it under 30 seconds.
  10. Apologize when you find out they’re just other wanna-be-authors much like yourself, only angrier because you just made them late to the banquet dinner.
  11. Arrive in your room to see the red light lit up on the desk, indicating people have been trying to reach you. Wonder how many agents read the novels you left in the lower lobby, salivated, and have now beaten a path to your hotel room phone leaving messages like, “Let’s meet before dinner so you can sign my exclusivity representation agreement!”
  12. Call the front desk and retrieve a single message, “Nine of your books have been turned into the hotel Lost & Found. Please see the concierge to claim.”
  13. Daydream that the missing 10th book is under the pillow inside a prominent agent’s hotel room and he’ll be kept awake all night, turning pages.
  14. At the banquet, decide on a new tact that doesn’t involve displaying your books prominently in front of the cream-puffs on the dessert buffet. Resolve instead to place into the palm of any agent (reaching with an outstretched arm to shake your hand during introductions) a copy of your novel. What? ?  Like they’re gonna rudely just let it drop on the floor?
  15. Pick your book up off the carpet. Shout, “So nice meeting you!” to the agent’s backside as he hurries toward the stairway, because it’s recently been announced to “ride elevators at your own risk” at this particular writer’s conference.
  16. Walk into a workshop called, “Speed Pitching To An Agent” where the idea is to play musical chairs, quickly discussing your book with 15 different agents. Talk very fast! You’ve got this movie comparison thing down pat now. Tell them it’s a cross between “When Harry Met Sally” and “Planet of the Apes.” Claim you heard Nicolas Cage is dying for the lead role when your bestseller becomes an actual movie. What?? Do you think they have Nicky’s number and will call to confirm??
  17. Tell all the male agents “You wouldn’t understand my book, it’s geared toward female readers who want to become multi-orgasmic.”
  18. Sing your pitch or recite it in Pig-Latin.
  19. Contemplate launching into the VitaMeataVegaMin routine or lighting the tip of your fake nose on fire with a lit cigarette.
  20. Check-out of the hotel on Monday morning thoroughly encouraged because the janitor chased you out to the valet stand to thank you for leaving him your book with his cleaning supplies. He wants to know if you’ll mop all the lobby floors so he can find out how the book ends. Say, “Yes!”

It’s Feb! Hosting a Super Bowl or Oscars Awards party? Maybe combining the two?? Check out my new funny planning tips right HERE on the website Jewlarious! I’d love to hear from you over there.

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Sitting IS the New Smoking??

images-17  You better have a seat before reading this — in case you’re as shocked as I am. Or maybe not!  I’d love to take credit for creating this catchy warning phrase, but a quick internet search brings up headlines screaming the same sentiment for the past few years — like this one RIGHT HERE

Beware of the Chair!! But seriously? They’re asserting that you can never have puffed a cigarette a day in your life but (even with daily strenuous exercise) your chances of heart-attacks/strokes are the same as a smoker’s . . .  if you spend the rest of your time sitting.

“Sitting is the New Smoking!”

This gives new meaning to addictions and begs the following questions…

  • If you have a problem with more than 4 sofas a day, are you a chain sitter?
  • Should you gradually wean yourself off La-Z-Boy recliners, or just quit cold turkey?
  • After good sex, how likely are you to have the urge to reach for a barstool?
  • Can you tell by someone’s breath and smell on their clothing that they are a heavy sitter?
  • Is it still legal for restaurants to have sitting and non-sitting sections in their dining rooms?
  • If you’re a super active person but your spouse is a couch potato, are you being subjected to second-hand chairs?
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She won’t be smiling when she’s charged a “Nicobean” tax for sitting on this thing.

 

But the real point is…

“This Is The New That!”

It started with our ages, “50 is the new 40.” And the television show, “Orange is the new Black.” Now anything is fair game. So here we go…

For Kids:

  • Hugs are the new allowance!
  • Bath tubs are the new swimming pools.
  • Hatchimals are the new puppy under the Christmas tree!
  • Cellphone Trackers are the new “Call to let me know you arrived safely.”
  • Google is the new library.

For Women:

  • 155 lbs is the new 125 lbs.
  • Tossing & Turning and Night Sweats are the new gym workout.
  • Gray is the new blonde.
  • Nutella is the new breakfast of champions
  • “You’re a jerk, I deserve better!” is the new, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

For Men: (a little throwback in time!)

  • “Come over for a home cooked meal” is the OLD “meet you at Starbucks.”
  • Opening car doors for females is the OLD click your remote keyless entry.
  • A goodnight kiss is the OLD blowjob.
  • A perfumed love letter is the OLD sexting.
  • Sleeping on the couch after a fight is the OLD sleeping with her best friend.
  • His Girl Friday is the OLD Siri.

Disclaimer: It is highly recommended when perusing this blog, that you be (at the very least) sitting in a rigorous rocking chair so you aren’t endangering your health with stationary sitting. Also nobody can accuse you of being “Off Your Rocker” for reading Little Miss Menopause. 😉

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Dance Movie Women…Where Are They Now?

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Join us as we pay tribute and catch up with some famous female characters from the classic musical films we’ve all watched zillions of times:

  • Saturday Night Fever               Dirty Dancing
  • Grease                                          Footloose
  • Flashdance                                  Hairspray

Today’s your lucky day because through the magic of blogging, you’re about to listen in on their group therapy session!

Therapist: Hi ladies, how ya been?

Sandy: Who you calling a “Has Been?”  Fans are still Hopelessly Devoted to me.

Stephanie: Relax, Miss Sandra Dee. You misheard. She’s just asking how we are. Personally, I’m just barely Staying Alive.

Therapist: Great! Whether you’re a mother or whether you’re a brother… well I’m sure we’ve all had enough of those lyrics. I was going to have us go around the circle and introduce ourselves, but I think it’s rather obvious who everyone is — except for you there with the leg-warmers on.  And you are?

Alex: That’s okay. Nobody ever knew what my name was in Flashdance either. When they referred to me, they just said, “She’s a maniac, MANIAC!” Mainly I was known by my iconic sweatshirts. I gave everyone the cold shoulder in the 80’s.

Therapist: You certainly did. Please tell me more about how that feels. But first Baby, could you please scoot your chair back further so I can see everyone. Maybe sit closer to that wall?

Baby: Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Therapist: Hmmm, Paranoia. And Dissociative Behavior talking about yourself in the third person.  I see we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves.

Tracy: I’ve actually already worked hard on myself to overcome society’s criticism about being the fat girl. I’m not ashamed of how I look. I’m just grateful I wasn’t born a negro.

Therapist:  Excuse me!??  Tracy Turnblad! That last part is completely out of character for you!

Tracy:  Sorry, I guess you can take the girl outa Baltimore but you can’t….well the main thing is – I role modeled self-acceptance.

Therapist: And how can any of us really tell when we’ve achieved self-acceptance?

Stephanie: Well you can tell by the way I use my walk, yada yada no time to talk. Music loud and feeling warm, been kicked around since I was born . . .

Therapist:  Really?  You’re amazingly confident even with that kind of child abuse.

Sandy: Me too. I always liked myself just as I was.

Baby: What are you talking about, girlfriend? You purposely turned yourself into a complete slut, forever teaching impressionable young girls that being a goody-two-shoes sucks, and the only way to be well-liked is to put out!

Sandy: Tell me about it, Stud.

Ariel: Yeah…Let’s hear it for the boy!!  Sometimes you gotta cut loose, kick off your Sunday shoes.

Therapist: Please do not remove your footwear here. And I really would like to be the one who leads this discussion.

Stephanie: Wow. Somebody has control issues. And it’s not Tony Manero.

Coco: You know, I just want to belt out one hit song and get some FAME. Okay, I confess…I wanna live forever!

Tracy: Sweetheart, you’re in the wrong room. The Washed-Up Movie Singers Support Group meets down the hall. Sheesh, that Irene Cara is still looking mighty fine.

Therapist: Can we please stay focused? Let’s talk about what dancing did for you ladies. You all have some great moves. What impact did that have on your relationships?

Sandy: Well when I lost the big Rydell high school dance contest, I thought I lost Danny too. After all, he only had eyes for Cha-Cha DiGregorio at that point. But I clung to the hope that “We go together, like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong!”

Therapist: Yes, that makes so much sense.

Sandy: And I’d also remind myself that “We’re one of a kind, like dip da-dip da-dip doo-wop da doo-bee doo!”

Therapist: Very profound indeed.

Tracy: I have a little issue with my femininity. My mother was also a very big woman. But sometimes she was also a big man. She sent me double messages about which gender she identified with.

Therapist: Well, “Big” was the key. And you did the right thing by telling her, “Mama, I’m a big girl now!” without hesitating or missing a beat.

Tracy: Well, you can’t stop the beat!

Stephanie: Beat? Does this mean it’s time to talk about the child abuse now?

Therapist: I’m afraid we’ll have to stop here for this week. But I’d like to go around and hear from everyone what kind of time you’ve had today and please be honest.

Baby: Now I’ve had the time of my life. No I never felt like this before. Yes I swear it’s the truth. And I owe it all to you.

Therapist: Well at least you owe me $150 for this hour! Sandy, what about you?

Sandy: You’re a fake and a phony and I wish I never laid eyes on you.

Therapist: Lot’s of anger there. Maybe if you didn’t always keep that Elvis and his Pelvis so far away from you.

Tracy:  Or maybe if she ratted her hair earlier in the movie. Personally I loved everything about this session. I just wanna let the whole world know I’m still big, blonde and beautiful. And every day should be negro day!

Therapist:  Honey, maybe you should just say, “Black lives matter.” As for the rest of you, if you take nothing else away from this meeting, just remember this one word….

Sandy: Grease is the word!!!

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Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates!?

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Scheduled Sex and Mystery Dates are two ideas that you might have been thinking of incorporating into your relationship because all the “Couples Experts” are talking about these things lately. Plus implementing both means they’ll balance (cancel??)  each other out.

Scheduled Sex can tend to feel a bit artificial and contrived — while Mystery Dates can counteract that with a sense of impromptu and spontaneity. Here are my tips for each concept.

Tips for SCHEDULED SEX

Verification! The good news is you can schedule sex as often as you want. But if you don’t pencil your partner in, (and get an advanced agreement that the date/time works for them) instead of climaxing to greater heights together, you’re gonna just be left so low. Just to be clear, that’s “SOLO.” (As in “uh oh!”) So always conFIRM, ConFIRM, ConFIRM! 

Vanishication! There’s no other surefire way to make your children disappear than by hiring a magician, so be sure and factor a white rabbit into the equation when scheduling sex.

Specification! Do you plan a work meeting without sending out the proposed agenda? No! Do you make a doctor’s appointment without letting the office know the reason for your visit? No! Do you call and arrange a day/time with your hairstylist without telling the receptionist if you want a dye-job, a layered cut, a fancy up-do, a perm, or just a blow-out?  No!  (Note: When calling beautician, Never combine the first word of the last service with the second word of the first service! Go ahead. I’ll wait whilst you go back and figure this one out!)  Well, it’s the same thing here — As long as you’re writing down a time/place for sex, you may as well suck every last bit of spontaneous fun out of the act by listing the specific type of foreplay (and exact positions during intercourse!) you’ll be expecting. So your calendar should look something like this after scheduling sex.

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Kissing, hugging, touching, cuddling, missionary, cowgirl/saddle straddle/rodeo and the stand and deliver!

If you’re a minimalist, (or work for Nike) a daily planner that looks like this is also permissible.

Feb 12, 9 pm. — Just do “it!”

Organization! Okay, so you’ve got things verified, specified, and your kids have been sawed in half. But now you still need to shower, shampoo, shave, moisturize, brush teeth, change the sheets, pick out what you’ll (not) wear, find good music, and rehearse clever lines that will make the whole scene seem unforced and natural. 

Celebration! Be sure and pick days that are worthy of having sex on. Favorite holidays include Friday the 13th, Groundhog Day, February 29th, Take Your Daughter to Work day, April Fool’s Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day, Backwards Day, and Crazy Hair Day.

Tips for a MYSTERY DATE

No Board Games! Your “Mystery Date” should not be just, “Surprise! We’re playing Monopoly, Scrabble, or Clue at the kitchen table tonight!” However, if you can get your hands on an old 1965 board game actually called, “Mystery Date” (with a little white plastic door in the center of it that opens to various pictures of men who are ready to court you — holding a corsage, a bowling ball, skis, a beach blanket, etc.) then send this to me so I can relive my childhood. I always managed to open the door to the “dud” date.

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Blindfold! If you have one left over from Scheduled Sex, use it as you drive your partner in the car to their mystery date. The real mystery will then become, “how in the hell can you see where you’re driving us??” Kidding. Tie it over your innocent passenger’s eyes to heighten the suspense of where you’re taking them.

Hint! Some people are just no fun, and by that I mean “control freaks” and by that I mean “me!” They will continually ask you to give them a clue. If they persist, you can satisfy their curiosity by telling them how they should dress for the mystery date. But keep ’em guessing by stating, “wear a bikini” (when it’s really for a broadway show!) or “wear a heavy jacket” (when it’s actually for a hot-tub) and I guarantee your partner will be pleased as punch. Or they’ll throw one.

No Calendar! Remember, Mystery Date is supposed to have the opposite effect of Scheduled Sex. There can be no details written down about where/what/how/. Otherwise there’s zero astonishment during your date, right? However if you’re really sly, you’ll pretend it’s actually Scheduled Sex instead of a Mystery Date. Then when they’re all ready and worked up to participate in the former, you can blindfold them, tell them to wear a ball gown, and drive them to a miniature golf park!

The Unknown!  Mystery dates are all about the element of the unexpected. So grab your partner, look deeply into their eyes, back them into the nearest wall, press your body tightly against theirs and say, “Forget Mystery Date or Scheduled Sex!” Then continue seducing them for a wild night of unbridled passion. Because frankly that beats anything any Couples Expert could ever recommend.

Readers: I hope these two ideas will help keep stale relationships staying fresh. Or you might just try using a chip clip.

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Forget Loss of Wages….It’s All About Loss of “Pages!”

dollars-in-books-framedAfter my recent auto crash, the insurance agent told me I could file a claim for loss of wages. Only I thought she said “pages.” Gee, what a nice way to treat writers, validating us just like any other reputable, steady employee.

And it was true! I hadn’t written anything remotely funny since the accident. Gee, I never thought of attributing this to my head injury. But look what a simple tornado did for Dorothy!

What I need is some professionally documented medical evidence.

Me: Hi! Since my auto accident, I can’t make people laugh anymore.

Neurologist: Are you sure? Have you seen your hair today?

Me: Haha. Could you just do one of those magnetic resonance imaging diagnostics with contrast dye of my right hemisphere, focusing on my cerebellum, pons and medulla. And maybe my amygdala and frontal cortex?

Neurologist: You can throw that important-sounding terminology you learned in high school biology at me all you want, but none of it will explain why you’re such a hack writer.

Me:  Hey, watch it! Okay, then just scan my brain real quick, print out a copy, and circle/draw professional doctor arrows to the part where my sense of humor used to be, so I can submit it with my claim.

Neurologist:  Look Ms. Menopause, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work that way.

Me:  Fine. Can you just sign this piece of paper agreeing that I’m now dull and boring?

Neurologist: With pleasure.

What I need are some real witnesses who remember how hilarious I once was.

Me: Kids, do you recall a few months ago we went to Disneyland and then the next day, with my trusty laptop, I turned what was just a basic, typical family outing into an uproarious, creative adventure — writing us into scenes from Cinderella, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Shawshank Redemption? It was so humorous, even The Huffington Post published it.

Daughter: You mean when you barfed all the way through Space Mountain?

Me: Yes, I simply changed my character action to “barked” all the way through Space Mountain. And it was a real knee-slapper, remember?

Daughter: Yes. Sorta. Kinda. No.

Me: Okay, well I need to prove that if we had that exact same experience today, there’s no way I could write anything amusing.

Son: Yippy! C’mon everyone, get in the car! Mom’s taking us back to Disneyland for the weekend!

Me: Yeah, not happening. No lawsuit is worth that.

What I need is an ex-husband willing to testify.

Ex: Let me get this straight, you want me to go into court telling a jury how much I used to howl with laughter at you when we were married?

Me: Exactly. And now you don’t even crack a smile.

Ex: That’s because I don’t see you getting undressed or cooking anymore.

Me: Well can you just say it’s the direct result of that fateful last drive in my car?

Ex: Your driving is no laughing matter.

What I need are a few humor writer girlfriends to sign some affidavits on my behalf. 

Bethany: Stephanie, give it a rest. We’re all happy you’re still alive, but honestly we’re relieved you haven’t blogged much since your accident. You were NEVER the least bit funny.

Me: What??!  Why do I even have you as a friend? You’ve always been so competitive with me and you’re just jealous of my wicked sense of humor! Why, even your name “Bethany” sounds an awful lot like “Stephanie.”

Tiffany: I suppose that goes for my name too? Ha. Don’t make us laugh.

Destiny: Yeah, that’s pretty hilarious. She’s actually a freakin’ side-splitter now. The blow to the head must’ve knocked some humor into her.

That was it!  I’ve been approaching this thing backwards. Instead of suing the insurance company for my loss of humor, I need to write the driver who hit me a thank-you note. Because now I’m a complete riot with lots of new car accident material I can use in a stand-up routine!  I can even take this act on the road.  Well, maybe not quite the road — just the sidewalk… with the rest of the droll, but perfectly safe pedestrians.

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“Guilty As CHARGED!” (But the Thief Lives in Your Own Home??)

0a3b2cd8fc3a57f55e82c17f42b70ac1And you probably already love this crook dearly! That’s right — If you possess a mobile phone and live with other cell users, a terrible crime occurs in your home at least several times a week.

Your phone charger is either being (A) used without your consent (B) swapped for a seemingly identical, but ever so slightly different charger (different in that the replacement one looks like a starved rat gnawed through the end of it) or (C) blatantly snatched right out of the innocent grasp of your usual friendly outlet, never to be seen or heard from again.

Hanging up posters like this will be totally ineffective.

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Here are some insidious indications that you’re either about to fall victim — or if you’re already missing your charger, it is NOT the result of your poor menopausal memory, which many would love for you to believe.

10 Tips To Detect Cell-Charger Foul Play

  1. Anyone who casually asks you, “Hey, have you seen my charger around the family room today?” is immediately suspect because if they can’t find their own, this means they’ve already set their sights longingly on YOURS, which you believe is safely sequestered behind your locked bedroom door.
  2. Careful of wrapping a piece of uniquely colored duct tape around your charger cord. Such “defective” tape can inadvertently slide right off in the slick hands of a CCCC (Charismatic Cell Charger Coveter) and suddenly you have no identifying mark to point to when trying to assert your position of ownership.
  3. And don’t get overconfident and think scrawling your initials on just the plug part will do the trick. The initial “P” can effortlessly be converted into “B.” And an “H” can easily morph into an “A” (in the right wrong hands!) and before you know it, your cell charger can justifiably be claimed by someone named “Benedict Arnold.”
  4. Think you’re safe because in all capital letters, you spelled out your first, middle, and last name (in Sharpie pen!) all over the darn thing?  Think again. Remember that “As Seen on TV Miracle Permanent Stain Remover” you ordered which failed miserably to scrub the tiny indelible ink mark off your leather sofa? That sucker suddenly works like a charm!
  5. Warning! Seemingly helpful children who regularly play the card game, “Old Maid” (skilled at palming off the ugly spinster woman with crossed eyes and multiple chin hairs!) are instantly experts at redistributing previously mixed-up chargers, making sure you end up with the one in exceedingly ill-repair.
  6. Beware! Your daughter (who often gains your sympathy) by showing you her home screen so you can affirm she has only 1 measly flashing bar left) will one day tip her hand, revealing a screenshot pic taken at 1% battery which she permanently relies on to strengthen her fraudulent case of a dying cellphone. She won’t intend for you to see this, and that’s why it’s known as a “Fraud-ian Slip.”
  7. Household members who know you’re deathly afraid of spiders will enthusiastically shout, “Wow! Would you get a load of that black widow crawling on the INSIDE of our window, right where mom does the dishes!” When you run screaming from the kitchen, that’s when the heist is adeptly pulled off.
  8. Anyone who is overheard using the term, “Frayed” and subsequently witnessed performing strange, delicate balancing acts consisting of holding their hands at weird angles or building a platform out of blocks or tupperware, while charging their phone with something that resembles this . . . icordrx-fixes-your-frayed-lightning-charger-cable-465051-2and the next day is seen strolling jauntily around the house, whistling a carefree rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In!” (while sporting a charger that’s miraculously healed) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!
  9. Take a hint from often burglarized neighborhoods and form a “Bedroom Watch Program.” Have a designated individual patrolling unattended cords after dark so people can sleep soundly. Report unexpected “unplugging sounds” or “yanking noises” promptly.
  10. Resist the urge to show concern or compassion to anyone who frequently utters phrases like, “I’m running dangerously low and expecting a job offer to come in the next ten minutes.” And if they desperately whisper, “Oh my god, I think I’m about to die any second!” do not hesitate to put your finger on the inside of their wrist while sweetly responding, “You’ve got a good, strong pulse there, soldier!” Then demurely add, “But Bravo! Now go try your act on your sister because she already “borrowed” my cell charger an hour ago.”
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WHEN YOUR CELL CHARGER BREAKS BUT YOUR SIBLING HAS ONE THAT WORKS!

Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

1e90696ff70a925f211d2c9e5d1d2b32It happens every single time.  I confiscate my teens’ cellphones (completely warranted and justifiable for their wrongdoings, believe me!) when inevitably I hear their incredibly plaintive (although there’s nothing plain about these dramatic waterworks!) wailings, “This is a fate worse than death. Not fair! Adults NEVER get their cell phones taken away from them — even though they abuse the privilege constantly.”

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

The next time I ground my kids from their electronics, I include myself in the same disciplinary action. Mainly to prove how much it builds character, but also out of curiosity and determination that I can survive it too!

After our three cellphones commune together in a locked trunk, (plus our laptops, iPads, notebooks, Kindles etc. because if you’re gonna build character you might as well go for constructing a superhero!) I hand the only key to our friendly mailman, (don’t ask!) and decide to keep a diary.

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

Day 1 – Dear Diary, the first thing I’ve noticed is that I really miss carrying a chunky, firm, substantial object that weighs me down in a reassuring self-important kind of way. How to fix? Easy Peasy Verizon Easy! I’ll just substitute a nice, shiny, heavy stone inside my jacket’s zippered pouch. Voilà!

Day 2 – Because it’s just after the holidays, today all my girlfriends show off their sleek, new gleaming technology stocking-stuffers at coffee . . . “I got an iPhone 7!” “I got a Blackberry Passport!” “I got a Samsung Galaxy.” All eyes focus expectantly on me as I slowly extract a stone-age “device” from my coat pocket and bemoan, “I got a rock.” I’ll credit Charlie Brown later, when I’m not feeling so dejected.

Day 3 – Today I announced I was going without a cellphone indefinitely to some other mothers at the gym. “Oh but your poor, pathetic family. None of them will ever be able to get a hold of you now!” pointed out one frazzled mom on a treadmill, obviously trying to empathize with my dire plight. I gave her my “seriously?” look, then burst into hysterical laughter while maniacally rubbing my hands together and gleefully repeating, “Yes, yes, YES!”

Day 4 – Tonight I silently remind myself what a newfound sense of freedom I now have! Like a little tyrant, a cellphone just barges into the middle of everything — eating, sleeping, important conversations, blogging, sex, cleaning, jogging, cooking… “You don’t clean, jog, or cook!” shout my resentful children from the hallway. How could they have heard my thoughts, I wonder?  Then I realize — even though I don’t have a silver rectangular gadget to dictate into, (out of force of habit) I must still be unconsciously talking aloud to myself. “That’s right! You are!” they retort again. “You’re not our mother. You’re like a wacky, homeless person now.”

Day 5 – Today I have been informed that even a wacky, homeless person’s children would have cellphones.

Day 6 – I was right. This experience IS building character for me!  In fact TWO very well-rounded characters! Because I suddenly have a new story idea where the antagonist grounds the protagonist from using her cellphone, causing her to lose her pics, her appointments, her to-do list, her friends, her lover, her memories, her mind, and her life! It’s a Sci-Fi Porno. The only problem is I have nothing to write it on. Normally I type my good ideas inside the little yellow notepad icon on my homepage screen.

Day 7 – Ha! All you other people out there are getting brain tumors, crashing your cars while texting, being eavesdropped on by Big Brother, and getting blackmailed for sexting — while I sit here innocently relaxing and eating some healthy fruit. How many calories are in Sour Grapes anyhow?

Day 8 – I prop myself up on my elbows and stare begrudgingly at our family’s two pet parakeets, blithely Tweeting back and forth to each other.

Day 9 – Does Facebook ever send out a search party when people go missing in action? Maybe it’s gone past that point now. A Facebook Funeral! Complete with a newsfeed obituary, eulogy comments, and privacy options so my burial won’t be broadcast live or made public. Just please “Poke” me first, Facebook — to make absolutely sure I’m completely lifeless before sending me 6 feet under with a musically accompanied slideshow of the highlights of my Posting Years.

Day 10 – What am I thinking??  “There’s nothing I used to do on my cellphone that I cannot still do in real life!” I console myself by endlessly repeating this mantra. Where’s that old cork bulletin board in the garage?  Here it is!  I viciously stab it with pushpins, hanging up scores of photos carelessly ripped from home decorating magazines. Take that! And that! Who needs Pinterest??

Day 11 – Today I couldn’t recruit a single soul to play the boardgame, “Scrabble” with me at our kitchen table. I wonder if I’ve been automatically resigned from my “Words With Friends” opponents yet?

Day 18 – Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written an entry in here, but I’ve been busy searching for things to put together for a Cellphone Substitution Survival Kit which will replace almost everything my iPhone 6 used to do!  Turns out I’m gonna be just fine, thanks to the fact that I still own: a landline rotary phone, an answering machine, a typewriter, a radio, 3 wristwatches, a pedometer, a polaroid camera, a bank checkbook (with deposit slips!) a Rand McNally folded roadmap, local take-out restaurant menus, a kitchen timer, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a flashlight, a calendar, a compass, a do-not-disturb sign, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a cookbook, The Yellow Pages phonebook, and a tooth that’s blue — not to mention I have an obedient friend named Sari, which is close enough to Siri. The only thing I couldn’t recreate was having an object to put on “airplane mode.” Oh! And I still long for the sound and sensation of a gizmo that buzzes in my purse. However now that I think about it, I sense an even more enjoyable contraption to fill my “vibrating void” will be quickly (forth)coming. (Ahem, you didn’t just read that here on my G-rated blog!)

Day 19 – Today (and only for my poor, uncreative children’s sake, of course!) it’s finally time to put an end to this lifelong lesson and reclaim our cellphones. I triumphantly make the announcement and am immediately rewarded with lots of appreciative cheers. (The loudest of which are mine.) We all gather around the locked trunk to ceremoniously open it and retrieve our precious electronic “friends.”

Oh dear, I think to myself (but somehow my kids still hear me?) — our friendly mailman possesses the one and only key to our cellphone jail and he’s gone on vacation. We can’t even text or call him. That’s right, there’s only one way to reach a US Postal Service worker . . .

And to think I don’t even own a stamp, an envelope, or a pen to put in my Cellphone Survival Kit.

Dear Readers:  What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without using your cellphone? Disastrous or peaceful?

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Are Any of These 19 People At Your Holiday Buffet?

people-in-line-at-food-buffetWhy does standing in line for food bring out the DMV in people? This holiday season, do you know how to categorize the people at your buffets? Don’t worry if you don’t – I’m doing it for you right now. Soon you’ll have a clever classification for each of your family, friends, or coworkers. Just think — you’ll be able to easily identify who you saw last night at Thanksgiving or at upcoming Christmas/New year’s parties. Now you can label all your guests just like you label the chafing dishes. You’re welcome!

19 Types of People You’ll Meet at Holiday Buffets!

  1. The Buffeter Surveyer – These folks have read “helpful” articles with advice on handling smorgasbords. They know to approach the buffet in a calm, relaxed manner and to always have a predetermined game plan, which includes perusing all the offerings from one end to the other before making their final selections. They also know to use a smaller-sized salad plate to fool their mind into thinking they’re eating more! They’ll still pack on five pounds like the rest of us. These people are first cousins with “The Buffeter Weigher Conveyers” (See below)
  2. The Buffeter Overstayer – Buffets are their home base. They’ll linger, integrating all kinds of tasks – talking, eating, wiping, consulting, organizing, refilling, and generally becoming a permanent fixture by the soup. Not compatible with the next type…
  3. The Buffeter Get-Out-of-My-Wayer! – They mean business. Napkin tucked, first in line, making appreciative sounds, as you wonder if a nearby farmer forgot to take attendance in his barnyard today. Not to be confused with this next one . . .
  4. The Buffeter Wrong-Wayer — Always starting at the opposite end. You’d think they’d get a clue while they’re carrying food in their bare hands, because the plates are on the other side.
  5. The Buffeter Prayer Sayer – The Jewish buffeter who recites blessings over each food group and requests take-home Tupperware because without a To-Go container, forty years is a long time to wander through the desert. (But forty minutes is just the right amount of time to wonder through the dessert!)
  6. The Buffeter Cabareter – Hums songs about eating. Often heard belting out, “Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver or “Be Our Guest!”
  7. The Buffeter Delayer – You know they want food, they know they want food, but they sit until the last person gets up, not wanting to appear to be overeager. Soon you’ll overhear them whispering, “Shame she didn’t prepare enough food,” because half the serving platters were empty when they finally approached.
  8. The Buffeter Weigher Conveyer – Announces the calories in water and whips out a little kitchen scale for an official cranberry calibration. Do you know how many points creamed spinach count for on Weight-Watchers? Well, you will now.
  9. The Buffeter Betrayer – Intimately acquainted with the hostess, they won’t hesitate to spill the beans. Yes, even the pintos. “That salad isn’t really organic, Ha!” And, “It’s still just a Costco pumpkin pie, even if it’s sitting on a plate with a fancy doily.” Or, “Skip the baked potatoes, the skins weren’t washed.” Bribe them to keep their mouth shut with the promise of filling it with their choice of leftovers at the end.
  10. The Buffeter Okayer – You’ll not meet a more pleasant, jovial person in line. The answers to the following questions will always be “Okay!” 1. Can I go in front of you? 2. How’ve you been since last Thanksgiving? 3. Do you think I should help myself to goosing cousin Ruth as she helps herself to some goose?
  11. The Buffeter Layerer  – Obsessed with rearranging the sumptuous spread, even digging through layers of turkey or yams looking for who knows what. Tongs are their favorite tool of choice, but they can function just as well with a spatula too.
  12. The Buffeter Bouqueter – Gardening types who salivate at your floral centerpieces. Prefers Roasted Red Roses or Fried Fuschia Freesia to light or dark turkey parts.
  13. The Buffeter Halfwayer  – They nearly get to the end of the food display when they realize they forgot to grab a ladle full of salad dressing some twelve platters back. Now they’re gonna stand frozen and flummoxed in line, wondering how they can politely go backwards. Say this, “Aunt Jodie, want me to get you some ranch?” Problem solved.
  14. The Buffeter Clichér – This guy’s vocabulary is stuffed (fuller than the turkey!) with silly puns and double entendres. While staring at the carved bird, he’ll elbow you roughly while remarking, “Looks scary… It’s a Goblin! Get it?” Or “I’m suddenly in a fowl mood!” Simply tell him you gave up laughing at inane jokes “cold turkey” and move along.
  15. The Buffeter FoulPlayer – If it’s accidental, it can be forgiven – but youngster buffet-goers will drop a cherry tomato into the honey-mustard to see if it floats or sinks. That’s just the beginning of the havoc they’ll wreak. I hesitate to offer more examples, lest I offer more ideas.
  16. The Jimmy Buffeter – Knows all the lyrics to “Wasting Away in Margaritaville” and will get a real kick out of you handing him the pepper when he sings, “Searching for my last shaker of salt.”
  17. The Warren Buffeter – When you ask for some tips, he doles out financial advice. You just meant asparagus tips.
  18. The Buffeter OyVeyer – “Oy vey, my doctor says my triglycerides are high.” Ask them what a triglyceride is and they’ll just sigh deeply while reiterating, “Oy vey, I really shouldn’t be eating this.” Or worse, “Oy vey, should YOU really be eating that?”
  19. The Buffeter Essayer – Someone closely observing buffet behavior in the hopes of writing a semi-humorous blog. The nerve.

Did I leave anyone you know out?? Happy Holidays!

20 Thoughts I Have Tossing & Turning! (as you sleep soundly…)

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  1. Oh you’re doing that super irritating, sudden jerky movement thing with your body again. Having a dream, I suppose. Must be nice. Could’ve invited me. Of course you have to actually fall asleep to be included! Well I hope it morphs into a nightmare and you’re wide awake. Misery loves company nobody!
  2. Those very capable hands of yours just sitting there useless on the sheets for 6-8 hours every night. Someone should invent a way to harness the energy of a pair of hands for back massages, while the owner of the arms they’re attached to continues sleeping, none the wiser. It could be like a “Snoozing Toll.” Direct compensation to your restless bedfellow who has to just stare begrudgingly as you slumber.
  3. What was that loud noise coming from downstairs? Nobody else is home! I’ll give it three minutes and if the bedroom door doesn’t burst open, then I’ll know I imagined it and mercifully, I won’t wake you.
  4. I could pretend to talk in my sleep and say really bizarre things I could never be held responsible for. And you would never know I’m not really sleeping. Because APPARENTLY YOU ARE!!
  5. I wonder what the statistics are for the number of people who kick or hit others in their sleep?
  6. Okay what was THAT noise?  Two minutes!
  7. There should really be a pillow-flipping mechanism that senses when your pillow is too warm and automatically turns it over to the cooler side. Why is there no app for that?
  8. “You’re under arrest for stealing the covers. You have the right to remain silent. Because every grunt, groan, snore, snort, loud breathing, and sniffle is already being used against you.”
  9. I wonder how many songs there are about sleeping? The only one I can think of is “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” That seems like an open field for a writer like me to compete in. Ugh, never mind. There’s all these too, right HERE.
  10. How many words can I make from the letters in INSOMNIA? 1.minion 2.mansion 3.amino 4.moans 5. man. Man, this is a really stupid game.
  11. If a tree falls in a forest with nobody around to hear it, does it really make a sound?  If I shout “Sex!” right now in this bedroom while my partner is sound asleep, do I really need to follow-thru? Aristotle and Socrates got started this way.
  12. Maybe this is all a dream and I’m actually sleeping.
  13. Another noise! You are so lucky I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and not waking you up.
  14. There’s no more lit-up digital clock radio on my nightstand to watch the minutes literally change before my eyes. Gosh, those were the days. “Boy the way Glenn Miller played…Songs that made the hit parade….Guys like us we had it made….Those were the days.” I wonder if the actress who played Edith Bunker really sang that bad?
  15. Look at you. Just laying there. Breathing in. Breathing out. Rhythmic, pathetic fool.
  16. I’m hungry. I’m starving. It might be fun to actually get thrown out of bed for eating crackers.
  17. The downstairs noise has stopped. But I have a good mind to tell you in the morning that you slept through a burglary while I bravely cornered the armed robber with a baseball bat and the police came with loud sirens and now I have a medal of honor for bravery. But you’re just going to the slammer for stealing covers.
  18. What would you look like if I french-braided your hair, drew cat whiskers on your face with my eyeliner, and put a clown nose on you?
  19. Why didn’t I fork out the money for that super expensive mattress where one side stays perfectly flat, but the other side sits up at a 70 degree angle, vibrates and plays backgammon with you?
  20. Some boring one-night stand you are, fellow!  If I wanted to stay up all night alone…I never would have picked you up from that nightclub. Sheesh, lose my number immediately!!

What’s your most common thought when you can’t sleep?

How To Turn a Spare Room Into Something Less Useful!

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Do you have an extra room in your home (maybe your child went off to college?) with nothing but a lonely comfortable bed for someone to sleep in, and a silly roomy dresser for someone to store their clothing in?  Frivolous much?!  Now you can transform that eyesore into something . . . ELSE!

First a list of special ideas this unused space can easily be converted to:

  • A Sewing Room — (For all the times you can never find that tiny needle and spool of thread)
  • A Gift-Wrapping Nook — (Your junk closet will thank you. It can go back to just storing junk) Now you can display rolls of paper, tissue, bags, bows, ribbon, scissors, tape, and last minute presents from the dollar store right on the walls. “Pegboard: It’s not just for garages anymore!”
  • the-craft-room-week-two-with-diy-gift-wrapping-station-at-thehappyhousie-com-9
  • A Ping-Pong Table/Shuffleboard Room — (think of all the money you’ll save going on cruises.
  • A library — So what if everyone’s books are now on a Kindle. That’s not the point. The point IS you get to have a cool ladder that slides along the walls. But you must call it a library because you can hardly call it, “Belle’s Favorite Room From That Beauty and the Beast Scene.”beauty-the-beast-beauty-and-the-beast-1705808-960-540
  • A mudroom! — Because you currently have a place to recreate fond childhood memories making mud-pies (with daisies on top) exactly where right now??  Trust me, you need this!
  • Jewelry & Scarf Room — You fashionista, you!
  • A Home Theatre — My personal choice (see below) because one day my book will be adapted into a script and after I win the Oscar for best original screenplay, I will need a private area to screen my movie for all my jealous friends, where I don’t get mobbed by paparazzi.
  • A Parlor (Honestly never knew what this room was, but it sounds like you should serve ice-cream in it.)
  • A Contemplation Room — Just give this idea some thought!
  • A Morning Room — Each day at exactly 8 am, you’ll throw open the glamourous drapes, so the bright sun streams in everywhere and … I’m getting a headache.
  • The Treat Room — Feeling a bit snacky?  Here’s where you store all the Godiva chocolate and Nutella that nobody else is entitled to.
  • Need I go on listing more room ideas??  Just take any passion/hobby you have and turn it into a dedicated room, okay?  Sheesh!

9 Important Steps To Complete This Enormous Project:

  1. Have a garage sale and sell the comfortable bed and roomy dresser.
  2. What are you, a complete idiot?  Announce to everyone that you’ll have the remodel completed by Thanksgiving so you have something to be grateful for. (Without a contrived deadline, this sucker ain’t never getting done!)
  3. If you’re putting in a home theatre (the only practical choice listed above, as far as I’m concerned) start stocking up on things for your cute little concession stand which is the only reason to put in a Media Room. Don’t forget to knock yourself out trying to find Flicks candy these days, because if you’re my age, it was synonymous with movie theatres!
  4. Have someone build a 2 ft. riser in the floor (again only necessary if you’re doing a home theatre, so people in the back row can see your concession stand.)
  5. Hang a white sheet on the wall for the fancy projection system to display the movies on. After spending all your money on other things in this room, you’ll need to save money by doing this. And what?  Do you really think the screen is going to be the focal point in this room anyway??
  6. Hang framed movie posters and kitschy signs all over the walls, even though when you go out to the movies, you NEVER see any of this stuff inside an actual cinema.
  7. Make a long list of people you want to invite over to watch a special movie so they’ll feel guilty and reciprocate by having you back over their house for dinner. Do you think it’s easier to entertain folks with a gourmet meal or just starting a DVD with the flick of your wrist? Duh!
  8. Recycle those tacky purple drapes (see photo below) from your master bedroom straight into the new Home Theatre Room. Nobody thinks purple looks cheesy in a theater!
  9. Answer the phone and apologize to your children by saying, “Sorry kids, I didn’t think you were coming home this year for the holidays. You’ll have to get a hotel room for sleeping and storing your clothing in. But be sure and come over to watch Miracle on 34th Street on our professional equipment. Why yes, you DO have a practical mother, don’t you??”

What would you turn a spare room into?  Here’s my DIY pics!img_0761

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This is the screen that nobody even looks at in a Home Theatre Room….so use a white sheet!

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Look closely, did she find the “Flicks” chocolate she remembers from her childhood??

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A good prop to have in your Theater Room is life-size teenage girls sitting in the back row!  It gives it that cozy, legit feel.

Why Your Volt Matters!

fullsizerender-39Since today is Electron Day in the United States, I wanted to impress upon everyone how much your volt really matters. Each individual volt adds up and can create a great change charge. And with enough electrical volts, we can even set a whole new precedent!

Now don’t worry if you’re totally against your friend’s electronic influence (you’d like to bolt when they volt!) you can still do something about it!

How to convert electron-volts to volts

volt = electronvolt / elementary charge

or

V = eV / e

If you’re not a good candidate for equations and math (because you’re not the scientific type) that’s perfectly okay. In fact if you love live theater, you can still “cast” your volt and show volter support — but during intermission be sure and exit the stage or platform and head to the large room where refreshments are sold — then you can call yourself a “Lobbyist.” And if you particularly like dancing, you can put your volt directly in a “ballet” box! Or maybe exert great influence dancing with the West Coast “Swing” Volters. (Be careful not to throw your back out.) I might even do a sexy pole dance at the polls later today, so stay tuned!

In fact, you don’t even need to be present this Electron Day. You can submit your absentee volt and your energy will still be felt. That’s called a jolt volt! But beware of volter fraud, or a Fraudian Slip. That’s when someone thinks they’re getting voltage, but it’s really wattage. You could get electocuted this way. Ouch!

Personally, I want to make my Volt count, so I’m going to buy my Volt.

 

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It’s only a 2008, but it gets good mileage so I hope it’s still the popular Volt!

 

Now remember, if you’d like to retract your original volt and try again, I think that’s allowed as well. Just be careful you don’t get labeled as Revolting.

And at the end of this Electron Day, (when you want to rejoice) you can attend a couple of festive bashes or galas. Your first or second celebration will certainly be enjoyable, but it’s your Third Party Volt that will really amp up the fun.

So be sure and Volt Today. “It’s Electrifying!”

What’s that?…..it’s Vote???  Oh….Never mind!

I’m Little Miss Menopause and I approved this (silly) blog! (In honor of Gilda Radner! Click HERE to see why she was against violins on television!)

How To Fix Your Relationship in Just 11 Easy Steps!

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Forget the typical advice you read about improving communication and adding romance. My list is guaranteed!

  1. Swap Should for Could! Every time you start to tell your partner what they “should” do, switch to saying “could” instead. Example, “Today you could clean out the garage, organize your DVD collection, walk the dog, and take the kids to the park. Oh and you could also be the one who initiates sex tonight by starting out giving me a massage.” Rather than feeling pressure from you with your typical “shoulds,” they’ll thank you for having so much confidence in their grand potential!
  2. That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles! Keep a journal with all the criticisms you have of your partner and when you have thirteen items, that’s enough for a baker’s dozen. Cookies, that is. Make that Fortune Cookies! That’s right, you will no longer criticize your partner, the convenient Chinese dessert will do it for you. Take a tweezers and carefully extract the original slip of paper from the cookie (because really, do those lotto numbers ever win?) then carefully stuff in your new little typed message. “Confucius says you will shave more often.” Or “One who is all knowing thinks you spend too much money at Nordstrom.” Always serve lots of rice at all your meals to justify opening fortune cookies afterwards.
  3. Send Anonymous Gifts! No, you don’t make your partner the recipient, silly! That’s totally old school and do they really need another coffee mug with “I’m allergic to mornings” on it, anyway?  These surprise presents are FOR YOU. And they get periodically delivered to your front doorstep by an anonymous source, right? Of course right!  Watch your partner have renewed appreciation for your attractiveness. If someone else finds you worthy enough to buy you presents, they’re going to be extra intrigued by you now. Because what could someone else possibly see in you?? They better find out fast!
  4. Zero Solutions It’s been said that men try to fix things too much and would be better off just listening. But this advice is really for everyone because truly nobody wants their problems to actually get solved. It would strip them of their identity. So after your mate confides in you their latest crisis, say cheerfully, “I completely understand what you’re going through and not even in a million years, would I have absolutely any idea how to help you. It’s such a shame you’re in this no-win situation.” Watch how happy they get that you’ve acknowledged what a loser they are!
  5. Bake. Hey, realtors do it for a delicious scent to sell houses. You don’t think a wafting chocolate smell from the kitchen can improve your relationship?
  6. Lights, Camera, Action! Go out to the movies and then talk afterwards. Sure, you could discuss the plot, the special effects, or the price of popcorn these days. But far better to instead ask your mate if your looks could hold a candle to the star of the film?  If they pause too long, stammer and stutter, you can immediately pout and look dejected. If they say, “Yes of course, you’re just as attractive as that stud or babe!” You can accuse them of lying through their teeth. Either way, you are now in prime position to embark on some great make-up sex back at home. See if you even make it past the front door!
  7. Read This Blog Aloud! You partner will ask, “What in God’s name is that drivel? Agree that the two of you could write a blog far funnier than this junk. Bingo, you’ve got a collaborative project to do together!
  8. Mumble! Instead of shouting during an argument, lower the volume until your voice gets softer and softer. They’ll be craning their head toward you with wild curiosity to catch even part of what you’re saying. For the grand finalé, (because everyone loves a good secret!)… lean forward and whisper into their ear, “You’re such a jerk!”
  9. Mirror Your Mate! No, don’t copy them. Write something really scary on the mirror in shaving cream or lipstick. Tell them it was the cleaning lady and now the two of you have a common enemy.
  10. Banish Boring! Everyone knows couples get into dull ruts. So just do the opposite of what they expect and that way you’ll be completely unpredictable. You can even announce proudly, “From now on, you should expect the unexpected!” After a while, they’ll  find this spontaneous, impulsive side of you to be a routine snooze-fest. That’s when you get to go back to being your true self. And now they’ll find that so refreshing!
  11. To-Do List! Does your partner feel like they are always the last priority in your life? Here’s a way to turn that around, showing them you save the best for last! Leave a list of chores in a blatant place where your partner is sure to see it. It can contain things like “Pay bills, clean oven, mow lawn, grocery shop, help kids with homework, etc.” And there at the bottom will be their name in all caps. But you should also add, “When I’ve done all of these things, I get to spend time with  mate’s name.  They’ll be so flattered to see that they are your reward, (they’ll also feel sorry you obviously have so much to do before it’s their turn) that they’ll do the entire list for you!

Disclaimer:  In the intro of this blog, it says “My list is guaranteed!” It does NOT specify for what.

Are you Angry With Me?

angry-woman-5-ways-to-manage-anger-by-healthista

How do you get angry and still look this attractive? Where are her furrowed brow wrinkles?

Sometimes a piece of “wise” advice backfires on you. When I was just 18, I had an unusual insecurity — a belief that certain people in my life might be upset with me. And not just slightly miffed. We’re talking thoroughly outraged or really furious. Only nobody ever voiced it. Instead they just gave me dirty looks, or treated me differently.

But was this an accurate perception or could I be imagining things?

My therapist (who was probably thrilled this was one of my more straightforward issues) had a simple cure. She told me, “Just ask them.”

Now why didn’t I think of that? Here’s how that’s worked out for me so far.

With Tiffany, My Oldest Girlfriend:

Me: Hi Tiff. I’m feeling like you’ve been treating me differently lately. Are you mad at me?

Tiffany: Are you getting neurotic again?

Me: Maybe. Would that make you mad?

Tiffany:  Because last time you got weird like this, we had to do that friendship circle thingy where we joined hands and recalled boys we liked in 6th grade and frankly I’m menopausal now and can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast.

With My First Husband:

Me: Are you mad?

1st Husband: Stephanie, I am not mad. Mad means insane.

Me: Sorry. I meant are you angry?

1st Husband: I am very irritated.You call yourself a writer and haven’t learned this difference by now?

With My Mother:

Me: Hi Ma. I’ve been feeling like you could be angry with me recently. Thought I’d check. Are you?

My Mother: No. But IF I were angry with you, what might it be for?

Me: Um. Maybe I don’t call you often enough?

My Mother: Could that be true?

Me: No, I don’t think so.

My Mother: Well what other reason do you suppose there could be?

Me: Uh, last Mother’s Day, I promised we’d go to lunch and we haven’t?

My Mother: Warmer . . .

With My Daughter:

Me: Are you upset with me for something?

Daughter: Is that your way of saying I’m in big trouble?

Me: Huh?

Daughter: You know. You reverse things. You’re really the one upset with me, right? Just tell me, Mom!

With My Second Husband:

Me: We hardly talk anymore. Are you angry with me?

2nd Husband: No.

Me: Okay good, just checking.

2nd Husband: You do that a lot.

Me:  I know. I’ve learned in therapy not to make assumptions. I’m glad everything is fine.

2nd Husband: Yes. But we should get a divorce.

With My Neighbor:

Me: When I saw you at the mailbox yesterday, you didn’t wave back. Are you upset with me?

Neighbor: No.

Me:  Well would you tell me if you were?

Neighbor:  No.

With My Fiancé:

Me: Hi. Are you angry with me?

Fiancé: You’d know if I were angry.

Me: I thought I did know. But I wanted to ask to confirm.

Fiancé: I’ve told you before, if I’m angry I’ll tell you directly.

Me: About how soon do you think you’d announce it?

Fiancé: Immediately. I wouldn’t conceal it.

Me: Are you insinuating that I conceal it? That I am passive aggressive?

Fiancé: What? Certainly not! Now you’re just mad.

Me: Don’t you mean angry? Because mad means a raving lunatic or crazy.

Fiancé:  I know exactly what mad means.

With My Therapist:

Me: I’m so angry with you. I want my money back from 34 years ago. Your advice about asking if people are angry doesn’t ever work.

Therapist: I know, I know. But I thought you’d figure that out on your own, and at least it would give you some blogging material on a day you ran dry and your followers would get a chuckle and it might even elicit some good comments.

Me:  Ohhhhh, pure genius. Thank you!

Dear Readers: So are you mad? And I mean angry, not insane. Leave me any comments below. I can take it, really I can. 

Wizard of Oz Utilizes Craigslist

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FOR SALE:

  • Beautiful Red Sparkly Shoes, size 8. $15. Or trade for a hot-air balloon ride or strong dog leash?  Beautiful ruby beading. A little scuffed during a house-dropping incident, but plenty of wear left. Great for costume if you’re dressing up as me. Just don’t announce, “It’s too late. There they are and there they’ll stay!” after you try them on —  or some mean, old bitty might follow you around during an entire Halloween party. Contact Dorothy.
  • Poppies: Brightly colored. Some with snowflakes. Excellent cure for insomnia. $4 per bunch. Contact Oz Florist.
  • Farmhouse: $159K. Built 1939, 1800 square ft. 3 BR/2BA comes with pigs, horses, sheep and cows. Broken storm cellar, but house doubles as an airplane. You’ll find a few comps but honestly there’s no place like this home! Contact Kansas Realty.
  • Stallion: $200. Gallops, Trots fine. Will trade for a horse of a different color. See Guardian of the Gate, Emerald City. Bell out of order — please knock.

WANTED:

  • Curtain Panel or Drapes: Fabric that blends into the background so people will pay no attention to it. Large enough to conceal grown man maneuvering levers and switches. Contact ME, because, because, because, because because, because….because of the wonderful things I do!

LOST:

FOUND:

  • Broom: On streets of Emerald City. Must identify or we’re giving it to Burt, the affable Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins, next soundstage over. Contact any Oz Janitor.

JOBS:

  • Is your fave color yellow? Are you a brick layer with tons of experience with grouting. Apply in person. Just follow the . . . other applicants.
  • Hiring Surgeons! Experienced in both Brain and Heart transplants. Two patients prepped and ready to go. Must fly here as Heart patient sets off metal detectors and Brain patient claims “it’s the last straw” for airport security. Contact Miss Gulch, R.N.
  • Makeup Artist Needed. Tired of green complexion and exaggerated nose. Ready for a whole new look that doesn’t necessarily compel men to pull me into the nearest broom closet, but still bewitching in bed. Also miracle concealer for these undereye bags and droopy chin? Is it too much to hope for defying gravity?  Contact Elphaba.
  • Lyricist: Needed to change words from “Ding-Dong the witch is dead!” to “Knock-Knock and relax, the witch is just injured.” It’s kinda ruining my job security. Contact: Avon Lady.

COMMUNITY:

  • Square Dance Social: This Saturday night, 7 pm. At the end of that famous road. Sponsored by The Lullaby League and The Lollypop Guild.

PERSONALS:

  • Happy Birthday Dorothy!  Love Uncle Henry. PS. Hurry home, Auntie Em is sick. Very sick.
  • Single White Male Fortune Teller looking to meet female psychic or medium. Owns working crystal ball and I’m a Wiz around the house. Contact Professor Marvel.
  • Surrender Dorothy!  From Guess Who?
  • Munchkins — better watch your teeny tiny backs!  Sincerely, Oompa Loompas

 

Betcha you’ve got some other clever ones? Leave me a “Wizard of Oz” Classified Ad of your own below — C’mon, it’s fun!

Throwing a party?  Did you know I’m a retired event planner with some “unique” invitation tips published HERE. Say Hi to me in the comments section over there so I can connect the dots to you back here!

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Barbra Streisand Accepts Neil Diamond’s Proposal!

eb58900d3a10257b964e34790cb1c50aWell at least they got engaged in my imagination. But first they need a little pre-marriage counseling to make sure they’re compatible and each understands what their expectations are from a marriage partner. Let’s listen in, shall we?

Therapist: Hello you two famous celebrities!

Neil:  Hello my friend, hello.

Barbra: What’s up Doc?

Therapist: Oh please, I don’t have a PhD in psychology, so just use my first name. It’s Caroline.

Neil: Sweet!

Barbra: Hmph. Obviously you’re not a big fan of my films? What’s Up Doc?  Ryan O’Neil. Four plaid suitcases get mixed up?

Therapist: Before my time. But I don’t mean to rain on your parade. I’m sorry if I said something I shouldn’t have.

Neil: No one heard at all, not even the chair. If you know what I mean?

Therapist:  Well, suffice it to say I’m a big fan of your voice, Barbra.

Neil: It’s a beautiful noise. And it’s a sound that I love.

Therapist: Well that’s a great start! So what can I help both of you with today?

Neil: She hardly talks to me anymore when I come through the door at the end of the day.

Therapist:  Oh. Is that all?  Well maybe she hasn’t gotten over the fact that you don’t bring her flowers anymore.

Barbra: And roses aren’t that expensive.

Neil: Money talks but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk.

Therapist: Let’s try a different tact. How did you two first meet?

Neil:  Where it began?  I can’t begin to knowing. But then I know it’s growing strong.

Barbra: Isn’t he annoying? Actually we originally met in high school choir. True story!

Neil: She was such a Funny Girl. But I told her, “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon.”

Therapist: So now she’s a Funny Lady?

Barbra: Honestly I don’t know what my age has to do with anything. The underlying issue here is that I’m not quite sure Neil is ready to settle down. And leave all those other females out of his refrains, ya know?

Therapist: There are others?

Barbra:  Well for starters there’s that hussy from the Bluegrass state.

Neil: Ahhh, Kentucky Woman. God knows I love her.

Barbra:  See that?  And Cherry, cherry. And don’t forget about Cracklin’ Rosie.

Therapist: Cracklin’ — Sounds like a cereal.

Neil: No, but she was a store bought woman.

Barbra: And then there was that Shilo.

Therapist:  Now I always thought Shiloh was his dog. Neil? Your input.

Neil: Shilo was when I was young. I used to call her name. But honestly I don’t recall much.

Therapist: What’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget.

Barbra: Thank you. And something else that bothers me. He starred in The Jazz Singer and could’ve easily suggested that I audition for his leading lady instead of Lucy Arnaz.

Neil: I Love Lucy.

Barbra: Well that depresses me too.

Neil: Me and you are subject to the blues now and then….

Therapist: I think the most important question is… can you both be your true selves with each other?

Neil: I’ll be what I am. Solitary man.

Barbra: He’s always proclaiming his identity. “I am, I said!” He shouts around the house.

Therapist: Barbra. I’d like you to make some physical contact with Neil right now. Then look into his eyes and tell him how you’re feeling.

Neil:  Yeah, hands touchin’ hands. Reachin’ out, touching me….touching you.

Therapist: You can do it, Babs.

Barbra:  (hesitatingly extends forearm) Hold my hand and we’re half-way there. Hold my hand and I’ll take you there. Somehow, some day, somewhere.

Therapist:  That’s very good progress this week, folks. But I’d like to see you for another session.

Neil/Barbra:  Do we really even need you anymore?

Therapist:  People. People who need people….are the luckiest people!

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From HELLoween to HalloWEAN!

notohalloween

Halloween time has become hell for my family so I’m weaning us off of celebrating. Here are 12 reasons from previous years to justify why I’m doing this. Note: They’re listed in the order they always occur on the calendar.

September 23 —  While shopping in Costco, an innocent little voice whispers in my ear, “Be organized this year and buy this economy, ginormous fun-sized variety bag of candy!” And then (because Costco doesn’t sell matching sized bags of discipline or willpower) I pull in the driveway and a much louder voice shouts, “Kids, get downstairs this instant and hide this bag of candy from your mother until Oct. 31. And don’t cave, no matter what!”

September 28 — My period begins = The Four C’s begin. (Coercing, Coaxing, Convincing, and Cajoling) But the children stay strong and refuse to tell me where the bag of sugar is stashed. Courageous kids I’ve raised.

September 29 — I ransack the house.”Listen,” I say. “I’m a grown-up. I don’t have to take this nonsense from you brats. I can just get in my car and buy more cancer, err candy.” When I return from Walmart, my sister waits with outstretched arms. I shamefully hand the sweet package over to her and cry, “Put this where you know I won’t come across it.” I also hint that she should hide all my children as well.

Oct. 1 — The annual masquerade party invitation arrives from my well-meaning sister-in-law. Immediately the “S or S” dilemma begins. “Spooky 0r Sexy?” Should I be something frightening that either grosses people out and scares them off?  Or something seductive that (let’s face it) will be even more terrifying! The costume companies have solved this issue by sexualizing everything creepy anyhow. Witches, ghosts, devils, skeletons, mummies, brides of frankenstein are all sold with garter belts and black fishnet stockings.

Oct. 15 — My kids begin to pester me for unusual items to construct creative (and by creative I mean elaborate and expensive) homemade costumes so they can win their school’s contest. Why don’t I have plastic butterflies, metal rivets, black pearls, gold spray paint, white feathers, a sarape, and a pirate hat in our garage? What was I thinking tossing out the cardboard box the new refrigerator came in?  Am I the meanest mom EVER?  Yes, I think I’ll own up to that. It’s a great costume idea, actually!

Oct. 16 — I start tossing out suggestions for no fuss, no muss (cheap!) costumes. Note: they all hinge heavily on wordplay. 1. Wear a fancy dress and draw whiskers on your face. You’re a “Party Animal!” 2. Don’t shave and carry around bowls you threw on the wheel in ceramics class (You’re “Hairy Potter!”)  3. Glue a bunch of sponges and rolls of paper towels on your body. You’re “Self-Absorbed!” 4. Write, “Yay Ceiling!” on a tee-shirt and carry pom-poms. You’re a “Ceiling-Fan!” 5. Wear really dark pants and shirt and stick postage stamps all over your clothes, threaten people a lot. You’re “Blackmail!”

Oct. 24 — We only have one week left. Why isn’t our house decorated like the rest of the neighborhood?

Eldest Daughter: Can we at least stick pumpkin decals on our door and hang spiderwebs in our trees?

Me: Sorry kids, we’re Jewish remember? And Halloween was originally a Paganistic holiday and we’re against Pagans.

Youngest Son: But they’re so cute waddling their black and white bodies.

Youngest Daughter:  Are we against Madagascar and Happy Feet too? Those movies are also about penguins.

Oct. 29 — While doing a once-a-year, heavy-duty, deep housecleaning, I find BOTH large packages of candy inside the vacuum in place of its usual bag. As I flush the last empty wrapper down the toilet, I realize I have an unbelievable bellyache — but if I recover in time, I’m thinking I can just go to my sister-in-law’s party dressed as an Insulin Shot.

Oct. 31 — Replenish candy at supermarket at 5 pm. The doorbell rings incessantly, triggering my dog’s ADHD.

Oct. 31, 5:15 pm.  — Place sign on door, “Sorry, out of Candy. Please don’t egg house while I’m at a 12-step meeting finding a sponsor.”

Nov. 1 — Hide kid’s pillowcases of Trick-or-Treat loot from them so they can’t eat it without asking me for permission. Think this over. Request they hide it from me instead, but this time somewhere I’ll really NEVER find it!

Nov. 2 — Get a strong urge to finally fold the 8 baskets of clean clothes that have been cluttering laundry room since last Halloween. And BINGO! Now I have to Google, “Dentists who weigh your trick-or-treat candy and buy it back from you for five bucks a pound.”

3 weeks before next year’s Halloween — Decide that it’s really a pretty good holiday after finding what my children made:

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Leave me a comment about this and if you can’t think of anything to say, tell me your favorite costume!!

 

 

25 Things To Do In Bed That Are Non-Sexual But Still Intimate!

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For the sake of this list, let’s presume there are some very good reasons why you’re looking to implement it. Let’s also assume you’ve already thought up basic cuddling/snuggling and watching movies. Great! Now it’s time to depart into some odd, quirky, playful, and unique little activities that may not have occurred to you simply because you’re not me.  Without further ado . . .

  1. Play Truth or Dare with one another.
  2. Plan a vacation just by talking. A real one, or a dream one, doesn’t matter.
  3. Take turns drawing on each other’s back. Start with letters. If you’re good at guessing those, advance to words. Slip in a few erotic words but when he guesses them, tell him he’s wrong and accuse him of having a dirty mind. Advance to sketching actual pictures on each other’s backs. Don’t forget to sign and date your portrait just as all artist’s do. Note: Do not auction off his back in an art gallery.
  4. *Use the flashlight on your phone (assuming everyone brings their cells to bed download-9these days!  And if you do, check THIS OUT!  ) to make cool shadows on the ceiling with your hands/fingers. Bonus if you can create witches or goblins which lead into this next one —
  5. *Tell each other your best campfire ghost stories. You do NOT need S’mores for this.
  6. Have an old fashioned pillow fight.
  7. Read aloud from the same book to one another. Alternating paragraphs. Use dramatic voice tone. Resist the thought that this is how you used to get your stubborn children to enjoy the act of reading. But it backfired and now they hate it.
  8. *Sing, hum, or whistle a few notes and challenge the person to guess the song. Your own “Name That Tune!”
  9. Share a list of pet peeves (it’s okay if it includes being in bed with someone but not getting any sex)
  10. Practice mind-reading skills. Concentrate hard and work on thinking of a number between 1-20 and the other person guesses. Then test your soul-mate connection by transmitting the number “69” instead.
  11. Have a staring contest. The prize is a massage for the person who doesn’t blink or look away.
  12. *Jump on the bed!  (Seriously? What are you, five??)
  13. 12. Here’s the real number 12. Brush or braid each other’s hair. Don’t imagine lice.
  14. Give one another a very bizarre survey. Ask questions like, “What’s your favorite type of flying insect? Do you prefer salted or unsalted butter? Which is worse, being hungry or thirsty or nauseas?” After you get through those basic questions, start on the bizarre ones.
  15. Share your bucket lists. (Shovel ’em all out!)
  16. *Foot massages. Skip this if someone can’t stand the thought of touching anyone’s toes. Also pass on this if one of you has a foot fetish, though how that can possibly be I will never know. (Note: I did not think up this one)
  17. Tickle fest. Find the spots you are both the most vulnerable. File this info away for future use.
  18. Shave her legs. OMG I am so completely joking about this one. But would you believe some male folk are not. Click HERE and read #2 on their list. But come back here and finish mine!
  19. Look at old photo albums together. Make fun of how his mother wears her hair.
  20. Play the “What’s Poking Me In The Back?” game. Best done in pitch darkness or eyes closed and using distinct grooming objects like combs, toothbrushes, but not razors because it might lead to #18.
  21. Meditate (or just deep breathe) together. Practice inhaling something you want more of, like sex. And exhaling something you wish would leave your life. I once exhaled the lice from my daughter’s hair.
  22. Do art together. Yes, in bed. I don’t mean the Patrick Swayze and Demi scene from the movie Ghost, unless you have a potter’s wheel and clay under your bed and he can hum that Righteous Brothers song. See #8. No, I mean those terrific adult coloring books which surely you’ve seen because they are literally on every cashier’s checkstand now. Okay not the artsy fartsy type? Fine. Play hangman. Note: Playing Tic-Tac-Toe is liable to lead to #16 and the Toe Hater won’t be happy.
  23. Play this game. I have no idea what it’s called, but it’s intimate. Have your partner close his eyes and extend his arm. With your fingers, lightly touch/tap/crawl up the inside of his arm starting from his wrist. He has to shout “Stop” when he thinks you are exactly on the crook of the inside of his elbow. You’ll laugh when you see how far off he is. But stay in the relationship anyhow.
  24. Explore “too bad you’re missing that special gene” challenges like A) Who cannot download-10trill their R’s when speaking? (trying to do this has become the bane of my existence and the amusement of many)  B) Who cannot curl their tongue into a sideways roll-up? C) Who puts their left or right thumb on top when clasping hands? D) Who has attached ear lobes? E) Who can encircle their own wrist using just their pinky and thumb?  F) Who can take their thumb and excruciatingly bend it all the way backward, touching the wrist on their same hand?
  25. After the extreme pain of the ridiculous double-jointed thumb task above, the conversation might veer into S & M (sadomasochism). But no, you still may NOT have sex. Instead think of other things to add to this novel list until you both get bored and fall asleep, which is the most practical and intimate thing you should be doing in bed anyhow.

*Credit for these goes to my fiancé!

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Woman Inserts Herself Into Old Television Shows!

 

The Twilight Zone:download-7

Submitted for your approval . . . One Mr. Henry Bemis, thrilled to be a library squatter with zillions of books to read and nobody to bother him as the rest of humanity is wiped out in nuclear war. While a Ms. Stephanie Lewis simultaneously climbs into her bed, (a mistress upon a mattress) ecstatic for a night without children to disturb her sleep. On this particular evening, menopause strikes Ms. Lewis with a vengeance — hot flashes, night sweats, and a bad case of insomnia wreaking havoc as she also hears loud snoring sounds, though clearly her husband disintegrated. It’s a dimension of sight, a dimension of sound, a dementia of mind, as Ms. Lewis has the sudden realization that no zzzzzz’s await her. In an ironic and eerie twist, Just as Mr. Bemis drops and breaks his precious reading glasses, the camera zooms in on Ms. Lewis catching up on some light chick-lit reading until she gets drowsy. Because anything is possible in The Twilight Zone.

The Brady Bunchbrady_bunch_hawaii

“Here’s the story of a lively lady who is joining three lovely girls all hair of gold. She’s not their sister, not their mother, because she’s obviously too old! Till the one day this woman invites herself over for lunch, because she knew it was much more than a hunch. And that’s the way Stephanie Lewis moves in with the The Brady Bunch!” Just in time for their 3-part Hawaiian vacation trip (Why not? It’s the most glamorous of their filming locations) Stephanie experiences some strange mishaps due to a Brady Island Curse: A tarantula climbs into her beach-bag. She disappears under the water while surfing.A football gets thrown at her nose. Her hair turns orange. She goes to the prom with Davy Jones. She gets the chicken pox. She contracts laryngitis. She can’t stop exclaiming, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” even with the laryngitis.

Gilligan’s Island

“The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle. With Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his Wife. The Movie Star, Professor and Stephanie…..here on Gilligan’s Isle!” Stephanie knocked off dear, sweet, little Mary Ann. Was it for her coconut cream pies or because she coveted her flirty shorty shorts?It can’t be both because cream pies = stretchy yoga pants.

Seinfeld

Stephanie celebrates Festivus, calls George Costanza “Art Vandelay” then tells Kramer, “These pretzels are making me thirsty.” She confesses to Elaine, “The Dingo ate my baby.” The show reaches an exciting climax with Stephanie telling Jerry her name is Mulva. Yes, it is an episode about nothing.

Happy Dayshqdefault

The Fonz admits he has a secret wife named Stephanie whom he hides in a closet behind his leather jackets because she’s uncool.  Surprising the live audience, Stephanie leaps out with both thumbs up, gives a throaty, “aaaaayyyyy!’ then rides off on Henry Winkler’s motorcycle.

Charlie’s Angels

Stephanie spends the entire episode on speakerphone with Charlie frantically pleading with him to let her work in his detective agency but wearing concealer and corrective foundation instead of a bikini. Meanwhile, Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith beg Bosley to hire Kate Jackson back because she wasn’t such a pain-in-the-ass co-star.

The Flintstones

Wilma, Betty, and newcomer to Bedrock, Stephanie go around shouting “Charge!” (Just because I always wanted to do that.)

The Partridge Family

Stephanie can’t sing and it comes out she’s only on this episode to kiss teen heartthrob David Cassidy and tell him, “I think I love you.”

Bewitcheddownload-8

Stephanie magically turns into Samantha for a day and points out that two different actors (both named Dick) played the role of her husband Darin, but nobody (except her) seems to notice, care about, or remember the major switcheroo.

Friends

Stephanie and the gang sit around drinking coffee from oversized mugs and reminisce about past Thanksgivings.  When an old boyfriend accuses her of cheating on him, Stephanie cleverly shouts, “We were on a break!!”

I Love Lucy512ae575c31a9270edae8511ea42b78c

Stephanie, (along with gal pal Ethel Mertz) loses her passport, gets locked in a freezer, sets her watch backwards instead of forward and misses a dinner party, gets a lobster red sunburn, diets down to a size 2 to be in a show, schemes to get her son a raise but instead gets him fired, accidentally overdoses herself on cold medication, thinks her ex-husband is trying to kill her, and pretends she’s fluent in a foreign language so her future mother-in-law will like her. Oh wait, these aren’t Lucy Ricardo stunts, this is Stephanie’s actual life.

So what’s your favorite “older” television series and have you ever imagined being in the cast?

P.S. I am super excited to announce that my very first collaborative humor writing with my real (not fictional) son just got published this very weekend right HERE.

A Wrinkle In Time (Ode To Old Yearbooks!)

fullsizerender-36Buried under my bed, a keepsake box that if opened will summon Pandora,

Lo and behold, at the bottom — my school yearbook with signatures galora!

 

I’m not gonna admit the year I graduated, surely you’ll guess the date,

Michael Jackson ruled, but Men At Work had a hit — so it was a G’day Mate!

 

My name misspelled when classmates signed, “Have a Bitchin’ summer!”

“K.I.T!” (with their 7 digit landline, no area code!) “I’ll miss ya. Total Bummer!”

 

And though the things we penned  were “bogus” or “rad” or bordered on perversive,

We thought we were super “gnarly” because we never printed, we wrote in cursive!

 

Guys in corduroy pants and girls flaunting that leather n’ lace look.

All our smilin’ pics, “Let the good times roll!” The original Facebook!

 

As I turn the pages thinking, “These were the best years of my life?”

The Mean Girls jump out at me and I remember all my fashion strife.

 

Bonjour, Calvins, Jordache, Sasson, Sergio Valente – all those designer jeans,

My mother nixed buying them, ($$) so I was just a big fat loser in my teens.

 

Needless to say, popular “Candies” shoes were also not in family’s budget,

So I wore cheap knock-offs thinking “It’s just footwear, I can fudge-it.”

 

But when it came to hair, I had it down pat — the exact way to toss it,

Mine was a perfect cross between Jaclyn Smith and Farrah Fawcett.

 

Whom do I kid? My locks are still long and layered today — frozen in time.

Maybe that’s what qualifies me to write here at “Once Upon Your Prime?”

 

Once in a while, it’s fun to dig out yearbooks and it’s great for some posterity. 

A laugh or two over hilarity and show your kids where you ranked in (un)popularity.

 

All I know is the “Most Likely To…” page wasn’t meant for me … The Underdog.

Unless they could vote for, “Most Likely to document it all in her weirdo Blog!”

Do you look back on high school as the best years of YOUR life? Leave me a comment with the popular phrase most used when signing your high school yearbook (Mine really was “Have a bitchin’ summer!”) and I’ll try and guess the year. Or at least the decade.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/slog/

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Probably safe to say this classmate didn’t win any spelling bees!

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Where are they now? These Class Clowns, Best Athletes and Most Likely To Succeeds??

10 Things We Would NOT Do If Nobody Was Around!

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In the Twilight Zone, The Shopping Carts gang up and get their revenge on people who never put them back. 

In a recent survey (and I HAD to conduct a formal survey to write this particular blog, otherwise I’d be viewed as disgusting if I thought all these things up on my own!) here are the top 10 things most people wouldn’t bother doing if they were assured they were completely alone.

My bold commentary follows. (Or my commentary follows in bold!)

  1. “I wouldn’t recycle!”  It appears that if nobody is around, the commitment to our environment gets trashed. Quite literally. I myself have experienced the opposite of this. When people ARE around, I’m suddenly the President of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose” committee. i.e. During a party in my home, someone holding an empty soda can is asking where they should put it? I’ve stopped myself mid-sentence from directing them to my usual kitchen garbage and instead will pull out a “special container” (which is actually just an old toy chest) and pretend it’s our recycling bin.
  2. “I would no longer wipe down gym equipment when I’m done using it!” Okay, so now the truth comes out….your perspiration is actually just precipitation, like the fresh morning dew. But ours is….SWEAT.
  3. “I’d quit shaving my legs!” — I dunno about this one. Sometimes I think I do this just for myself. In fact, I often become so enamored with my smooth calves that if I were to stop shaving, I might file to divorce myself. 
  4. “I wouldn’t sit like a lady!” — With those hairy thighs?  Who could blame you?  
  5. “I’d stop using good manners when eating.” Right?  Somehow food tastes much better if you don’t have to be dainty when eating it.
  6. “I wouldn’t bother picking up my dog’s poop!” — Aha!  Alrighty. So this one is actually mine. I know, I know…it’s terrible. But I never wanted a dog in the first place and I have a notarized contract stating my children will be doing this chore. However, if a neighbor is standing outside watching me, I have been known to make Avoidance into an Art Form. It looks like this: First I make a big show of taking out the little plastic bag with a graceful flourish. Then I bend down and make sure it rustles the grass in a purposeful manner, just slightly adjacent to the actual poop. Next, I double knot the bag and proudly lift it up, feigning that it now has a bit of weight to it. (However, I manage to resist the urge to clown around, pretending to struggle with a twenty-five pound package!) My heart then begins to race as I saunter quickly off, fearing the neighbor will be one of those “checking” types and call me back, announcing, “And the Oscar for Best Pooper Scooper goes to Little Miss Menopause, but you’re completely full of it! So get back here and do it for real this time.” The whole charade probably takes a lot more time/effort/energy than if I just picked up after the dog in the first place.  
  7. I wouldn’t cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze! Have at it!  Let those germs spread far and wide. May as well burst out into song with “Born Free….”
  8. “I wouldn’t return shopping carts to their receptacles!” So you’re the one whose shopping cart is always blocking the primo parking space?
  9. “I wouldn’t wear a bra!” Or, “I wouldn’t wear clothing!”  I can’t get on board with either of these. I think I’d become highly offended and issue myself fines for lewd behavior.
  10. “I wouldn’t waste time washing my hands after using the bathroom!” (Note: Many people private messaged me this exact same answer. But only one person was brave enough to answer it in my public survey. That was my son. But I’d like to go on record stating this should be no reflection on my parenting — it’s a divorce situation, so I get to put this on his father.)  Having said that, I’ve hidden quietly inside public restroom stalls before (not for the purpose of this article, but for another strange reason.) and seen just how many people (when they think nobody else is in the bathroom) will skip washing hands. I’ve heard their rationalization too –Urine is supposedly sterile and therefore if they only pee, there’s no need to wash. In my OCD opinion, public restrooms are so filthy, they should even wash their hands BEFORE going to the bathroom. However if you’re in the sterile urine camp, you might want to read this conversation…http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=39150.0  And yes, these are naked scientists, so they obviously were the respondents for #9 above.

And there you have it — my top 10 list. I had a lot more answers than this, believe me. In fact, it should be noted that many individuals answered my question with responses like this . . . “I’d sing really strange songs in a dorky voice” or “I’d make funny faces at myself in the mirror” or “I’d pretend I was a fashion model posing on a runway as I walked down the sidewalk.”  Okaaaaaay.  But the actual question was, “What would you NOT do if there was nobody around to witness?” So while I think these people are fascinating personality types, and I’ve love to have them as my friends…..they need to brush up on their reading comprehension.

What about you?  What would you NOT do any more if there wasn’t someone around to judge you??andyrooney162017

5 Ways I’m Creating 100% Viral Content!

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I’ve recently hit on the magic formula! And because you’re probably slightly distrustful of me and thinking the title of this post is “click-bait,” (so it will go viral itself!) I plan to share everything I’m doing with you as well.

You’re welcome.

But first an observation. George Orwell was mistaken. He said we’d all be terrified that our every move would be watched and listened to — that our privacy would be seriously invaded. Wrong! We’re actually upset that the world isn’t paying more attention to us. We want to be sought after online (even stalked) and we want our words to go viral!

After much research on how to orchestrate it, here are my top 5 tips:

5. When you see something go viral, duplicate it, but with an unexpected twist.

Examples:

4. Nostalgia is inherently popular. People love to reminisce about their past. Therefore the headshot with my Farrah Fawcett hairstyle (taken Aug, 2016) will do the trick every time.

3. Evoke a Strong Emotion! Examples of posts that will elicit the 5 recommended emotions.

  • SHOCK/SURPRISE – “Snopes verified! Woman with Farrah Fawcett Hairstyle who uses “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” shampoo, owns pet rocks, quotes The Fonze, and disco dances to Donna Summer, refuses to see the original Star Wars movie!”
  • ANGER – Start a rumor that the last of the Tab and Freska cans are being pulled from the shelves.
  • FEAR – Twinkies are being discontinued too. For real this time.
  • SADNESS – All online kittens are confirmed stuffed, plush toys.
  • TRUST – Obviously, just write anything that begins with “Trust Trump . . . “ Never mind, I misread that one. The emotion we’re supposed to elicit is LUST. Back with some racy porn headlines soon!

2.  Turn everything into some kind of a list. Nobody gets turned on by long, hard paragraphs that are difficult to penetrate. (Hey, that kinda sounds like a good porno headline!) So always write Top 10’s or pros/cons, multiple choices, or compare and contrast things, i.e. “10 Ways a Marriage is Similar to a Divorce,” etc.

The point is make sure there’s lots of sterile white space everywhere so you trick people into believing they’re not really reading, but are instead lounging around in a hospital.

 And now my top tip for becoming viral

1.  Respecting Your Privacy. When you write something and post it or send it out, be sure and issue this disclaimer: “This is for your eyes only. I’ll absolutely die of embarrassment if this gets out. Thank you!”

Being a hypochondriac, when I first heard the word “viral,” I thought “OMG! I better take Echinacea and vitamin C.” Now that I know how much fun it is, I want to try and go Bacterial next!

Good luck to us all! (And please don’t even think of sharing this with anyone. This is an exclusive for Little Miss Menopause’s followers only!)

PS. If none of this works for you, then there was a typo in my subject title, and it was supposed to say, “Vital” and not “Viral.”  Sorry!

Have you ever gone viral?  Did life change?  Do you have a REAL tip for going viral? 

 

 

Diary of An Ant Infestation!

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Dear Diary, I hope this appeases the Pest Gods….

Day 1

Next door Neighbors complain they have ants in their kitchen and ask if we’ve been experiencing the same? I go home feeling smug and praise my housekeeping skills, noting that our counters are wiped to a sheen, no crumbs or anything that could be an attraction for….huh…um, what?  WHAT is that tiny black thing scuttling frantically across my microwave oven?   Eh, so what’s one ant?  Smash. Ant? What ant?  “I am so superior,” I think to myself as I dust my grandmother’s vintage toaster. It’s sure shiny and clean for being so old. Word of the day: Antique. Haha.

Day 2

As I referee an argument between my kids over who gets pancakes or waffles, I reach into my pantry for the Bisquick. OMG! I’m aghast to see numerous black moving specs clustered around the maple syrup. It hasn’t even been opened yet. Surely an ominous sign that won’t bode well for future smugness.  I take the bottle to the sink and rinse about forty five squirming insects off the syrup lid. “Sorry, Aunt Jemima!” The irony of the name of the brand is lost on me because I’m too irritated.  Word of the day: ANTagonized.

Day 3

My daughter is bouncing off the walls to go shopping. “Got ants in your pants?” I teasingly ask. “Go get dressed and I’ll take you to the mall.” She returns moments later to show me her designer jeans absolutely teeming with ants. Who even says “teeming?” Apparently I do, now that we’ve officially been invaded.  Never mind that there’s a half eaten strawberry fruit roll-up in her pants pocket, the battle lines have been drawn, and I’m almost looking forward to the kill. Word of the day: ANTicipation.

Day 4

I would slap my 14-year-old son upside the head as he taunts me singing, “The ants go marching two by two, horrah, horrah,” but I’m too busy spraying Windex across my kitchen floor where there’s a determined trail of them (eight inches thick if it’s a centimeter) streaming out from underneath the dishwasher. I leave the bright blue liquid on my white tile floor for any brave newcomers and go google “Non-toxic remedies for ants.” The first thing it tells me is ants will stay far away from anything with lemon on it. I try it. (See photo above) Works like a charm. Not!! I post on Facebook, griping and complaining of my predicament. Word of the day: RANT!

Day 5

I awaken to a knock at the front door and I tell the smarmy guy from Terminex Pest Control (whom my pathetic neighbors must’ve sent over) that his services will not be needed. “I’ve got this!” I proudly proclaim. And it’s true. My problems will soon be over. There are literally 34 different comments under my Facebook Ant rant. Everyone has a different recommendation! Each solution more and more creative. But the last one seems super easy and even fun. “Ants hate Borat. Just get that and you’ll be in the clear.” Really?  Okay. I download the old movie starring Sasha Baron Cohen from Netflix and within minutes I’m shouting, “Take that!” to the hundreds of ants crawling up my computer screen. Turns out, “Borat” was a typo. She meant “Borax.” I rush to the store to buy some. And some spices that people swear by also, just for good measure. Word of the day: ANTidote.

Day 6

After the borax fails, I liberally sprinkle dark brown fragrant powder in a straight line in front of every single doorway and windowsill of our home. To an outsider, it looks as if we’re trying to ward off some kind of an evil spirit (Poltergeist has nothing on this!) — but an expert chef would note that we could bake exactly 28 dozen cinnamon rolls. That’s because cinnamon is the top spice claiming to stop these idiots in their dirty little tracks if placed right at their point of entry. Instead, I watch while they gleefully carry one golden granule at a time on their teeny tiny little backs as they uniformly march up my staircase. (They’re probably making potpourri sachets for the dresser drawers they’ve infested in my bedroom.) If I listen closely, I swear I can hear their little soldier voices chant just like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. Word of the day: MilitANT.

Day 7

Today is a dark day. Aside from the armies of ants which have now commandeered every single solitary room of our home, my dog has fleas and my daughter contracted head lice. Can bedbugs be far behind? Since we’re Jewish, I’m thinking “The Ten Plagues” and am on the lookout for a really mean Pharaoh. Word of the day: DominANT.

Day 8

On the telephone, I beg the receptionist at Terminex to send someone over immediately. “Like yesterday,” I plead. “Okay, yes…yes….I’ll apologize to him. Alright, I’ll bake him a cinnamon roll.” The ants are swarming my keyboard as I type this and my fingers crush their infinitesimal little skulls with extra forceful tapping. I pick up a felt-tip marker to start handwriting in my journal instead, but on impulse I raise the mighty pen to the ceiling as I look up toward the heavens, and in my best Scarlett O’hara voice shout, “As God as my witness, I’ll never be crawled on again!” Then I violently slap my arm. Word of the day: FumigANT

Day 9

The kids call me up at the office to tell me to hurry home because two great Ants, Carol and Arlene, are on the front porch. Jesus, don’t tell me they’ve started naming them now. But as I drive home, I remember my mother’s two sisters were supposed to drop by today. Get a hold of yourself, Stephanie. You’re really losing it. My cell phone rings and my best friend’s ex-husband’s employer’s hairdresser’s daughter is on the phone with some top-secret ant advice. I’ll print it here in case anyone else needs it. Food-grade DE diatomaceous earth works as an ant repellent. This powder is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.The microscopic razor sharp edges of DE can cut through the ants’ exoskeletons, gradually causing their body to dry out.  Everyone got that? We’re not going down without a good fight, people! Word of the day: VigilANT!

Day 10

Today I’m on to something. Something really big. Previously, when I sprayed the ants (with whatever killed them on contact) I’d diligently wipe up their dead bodies — but it was futile and within an hour, a whole new batch would populate the exact same area.  But now listen to this! If I leave their ugly ass carcasses blatantly strewn all over the house, it seems to act as a visual deterrent … and no new ants come back around! (Nevermind that tomorrow my home will be the location of a cousin’s fancy wedding.) This is effective advertising at its finest. YES! There is a light at the end of this parasitic hell tunnel. Word of the day: JubilANT!

Day 11

Dear Diary, Tonight the bride fainted after she ground fresh black pepper into her salad and then took a closer look. My fiancé came over to console me.  He shook his head incredulously as ants climbed out of every electrical outlet, poured out of water faucets in bathrooms, and danced deliriously from air-conditioner grates, swaying to the DJ’s music. I cried softly (luckily ant-free tears) as he whispered, “So you weren’t embellishing.” I threw myself in his arms, but this wasn’t a moment for romantic comfort. “It’s time for the big guns,” he said authoritatively. “Bring me the duct tape.” Right now I’m too appreciative to think up a Word of the Day.

Day 12

I’m waving my cream colored blouse around the house. That’s because I don’t own any white flags. And even this shirt has dark blotches on it. No, they aren’t dirt stains, you optimist. They’re ants! I surrender. I give up. From now on, I’m choosing my battles and this is not the ant hill I wish to die on. Somebody put me away somewhere safe. Lock me up. My son is selling them by the hundreds in zip-lock bags to his football team as DIY Ant Farms. Word of the day: RepugnANT.

Day 13

I may be having an affair with the Orkin man. He came to my rescue when Terminex postponed until Tuesday. I swooned. His taut muscles rippled across his back and shoulders as he hoisted the heavy container of deadly insecticide off his truck. I welcomed him into my bedroom. I begged him to step into my shower. I invited him into all my cracks and crevices.  He assured me this would only be a one-night-stand (He even sprayed one of my nightstands!) and he won’t be back ever again. “Because you won’t need me to,” he guarantees me — as I shiver in delight, a truly satisfied customer, watching him ride off into the sunset. My knight in shining armor. Word of the day: GallANT!

Days 14-30

THEY ARE GONE! Every. Single. Last. One. Of. Them.  Word of the day: TriumphANT!!!

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PS.  This is Stephanie’s youngest son. Please come to the funeral in our backyard tomorrow for my hamster, three goldfish, and two parakeets. Oh but don’t send flowers — for some reason they don’t do so well in our house anymore because all of mom’s geraniums and potted plants seem to have died too. Sniff, sniff.

Dying to Plan Own Funeral!

FullSizeRender (34)I don’t anticipate leaving this world anytime soon (that I know of!) but ever since Tom Sawyer faked his own death and then secretly came to his funeral and sobbed, I’ve been fascinated by this particular subject.

Now an online company called My Wonderful Life is encouraging us to take charge of all the details so the burden isn’t on our loved ones during their time of grief.

As a retired party planner, this seems right up my alley!

I’m a bit hesitant to bring up such a morbid subject to my very sensitive teenage children. Certainly they’ll become shocked and emotionally distraught, but I’ll quickly explain there’s nothing wrong with me– I’m just doing them a favor. Besides, being straightforward and candid with them has always been my philosophy.

Me: Kids, I’m planning my own funeral right now.

Daughter: Can you please be considerate and not schedule it during prom season?

Son: Did you eat the last of the Nutella?

Well, that went swimmingly. Clearly the rest is going to be a cinch.

Coincidentally, I recently attended a beautiful service for a dear friend’s mother and wept at the poignant beauty of it all. But afterwards, I walked away with what I’ll now term, “Memorial Envy.” (Are you listening Pinterest?) The daughter (my friend) gave a breathtaking eulogy speech, a son played the guitar while singing exquisite original lyrics. Still another sibling wrote a thought-provoking poem. They concluded by showing a video montage on a large screen set to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (my favorite song!) which depicted highlights of her life, holding her grandkids, and experiencing family bliss. All for their dearly departed mother. Lastly, in another room as refreshments were served, her artwork was displayed on easels for us to admire. Perfect.

I allow myself to imagine my published novel up on a podium for everyone to thumb through. Hey, with all the people gathered that day to pay their respects to me, I could even hold an impromptu book-signing! That would be a neat party trick.

So who in the world would plan something as nice as this for me?  I better get cracking!

The “My Wonderful Life” website suggests starting with crafting your own obituary. Let’s see… that’s certainly an intriguing writing prompt. How about . . .

“Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead!”

A big fan of The Wizard of Oz, Stephanie D. Lewis (AKA Little Miss Menopause) just departed this earth, leaving behind a garage full of junk that nobody seems to know what to do with. After an appropriate amount of time, please come forward if you want several dozen pairs of sparkly red shoes, wicker picnic baskets with stuffed dogs in them, and yards of blue gingham fabric. In lieu of flowers, please paint your face green and cackle, “I’ll get you my pretty!”

“Oh what a world, what a world….” I bemoan, not quite satisfied with the tone or voice of this piece so far. Obviously a work in progress. I think I can extend this editorial deadline by a few weeks, emphasis on “dead” of course.

As any party planner worth her weight in confetti knows, a good theme pulls the entire event together. Since The Wiz of Oz is already being implemented for my obituary,  I think a “Writing” theme will do just fine. That’s it, I’ve got it! My memorial service will be held in a public library.

Instead of a traditional guestbook for people to sign, I’ll have a cool vintage typewriter at the entrance so they can “tap-tap-tap-ching!” their names like real authors.

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I think this guest meant to say, “Hope You Had a Wonderful Life!”

Tasteful floral bouquets sitting on bookshelves will be folded origami style from print-outs of my best loved Huffington Post Blogs. (Okay, maybe there will only be enough for one lily and a couple of gladiolas.)

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Can you recognize which blog of mine these flowers are made from?

My favorite book-jacket cover will be enlarged with my photo on it — “GONE WITH THE WIND!”

The local librarian will announce to everyone. “It appears our last copy of Stephanie D. Lewis is permanently checked-out. She’s overdue, but we’ll waive the hefty fine because her final chapter was such a page-turner.”

My humor columns from local newspapers can be paper-mâchéd on the outside of my casket.

Oh that’s right….hmmmm, my casket. “Who should be my pallbearers?” I muse aloud, as my reverie is suddenly disturbed with familiar annoying voices, loudly squabbling . . .

Youngest Son: Make your eldest four kids do it. They’re the strongest.

First-born Daughter:  Eww, I’m not carrying her body. You do it!

I throw a book in their direction.

Me:  Will you kids just be quiet for once and finally let me . . . R.I.P?!

What do you think?  Would you plan your own funeral? If so, any good ideas?FullSizeRender (33)

 

 

 

10 Commenting Styles and What They Obviously Reveal About You!

FullSizeRender (31)This blog has not been feeling well lately (mentally) so I took it to a very renowned, highly regarded Blogchologist for a few therapy sessions. It spent some time on her couch while she asked some leading questions, gave it the inkblot test, and then formulated her opinion on every aspect of its personality, including all the comments it has received in the 2.5 years of its existence. I thought I’d pass on her analysis of all your reader commenting styles. For what it’s worth.

The 10 categories and descriptions below are mine, but her feedback is in RED.

  1. THE OVERLY FAMILIAR COMMENTER – Calls me Lil’ Miss, Missy Meno, or just “Hey Steph!” Prone to mentioning childhood memories, inside jokes, sexual asides, or telling me last night’s dinner sucked. These are obviously readers who know you well in real life but are feeling neglected and like they must resort to commenting on your posts to have any significant communication with you. They also are rather possessive and want to make it clear to the rest of your readers that they (and ONLY they) are privy to whether your hair really looks that strange in reality. (I can confirm it does.)
  2. THE CLEVER COMMENTER – Leaves remarks so hilariously witty, my original post seems a tad boring in comparison. Says things like, “Little Miss Menopause, huh? Does that mean you’re taking a short break from guys?  Men – Oh – Pause. Get it? Anyhow, I like your blog, but I’m hoping you’re not just some (hot)flash in the pan!” This type of commenter actually isn’t all that clever. They’re relying on silly humor, with the goal of emulating your redundant, insipid wordplay style so they might catch your eye as a possible future Guest Blogger on your site. They may even go so far as to leave some poison-pen writing in the hopes that you will fall deathly ill and they can log-in, (as you) and take your entire WordPress blog over. Why they would want to waste time doing this, I have no clue – but it might be an improvement.
  3. THE GENERIC WORDS COMMENTER – Always writes, “This was very funny. I liked it.” Even if I’ve written a meaningful post about putting my dog to sleep. Actually I analyzed your entire blog and not once have you written anything that could be called meaningful. Anyhow, this type of commenter feels sorry for you and is just being polite. Plain and simple.
  4. THE CORRECTOR COMMENTER – Their comments contain perfect grammar, punctuation, and are devoid of typos. They’ll point out that I’ve written “hear” when I meant “here.” Or that I lapsed into past tense when I started out in present. In short, if I want to hear from them, I need to screw up. Former English teachers or just extremely anal individuals with tendencies to not see the forest for the trees. If this is a parent and their child brings home a straight A report card, they’ll ask why there weren’t any  A +’s ?
  5. THE TITLE COMMENTER – They’ll leave a quick remark pertaining only to the subject line and possibly the first sentence. Business-like individuals who believe time = money. They have a quota of comments to leave and you’re just another cog blog on the wheel.
  6. THE TIT FOR TAT COMMENTER – They keep track of the frequency and the length of comments I’ve left on their own blog, and then make sure they do something very comparable. If I get too busy, they get too busy as well. These Tits for tat commenters have longterm resentments regarding their mothers for not breastfeeding them as infants.  
  7. THE COMPLEMENTARY COMMENTER – I can do no wrong in their eyes. Every word is a flattering adjective (brilliant & genius!) and the phrase “constructive criticism” sends shudders down their spine. You can spot these People Pleasers a mile away and often they will try to compensate for The Corrector Commenter by saying things like, “I didn’t find your changing from 1st person narration to 3rd person in the middle of a paragraph to be distracting at all.” They have a high need for approval and to be liked by every blogger they meet. Even someone like you.
  8. THE LINK-LEAVER COMMENTER – They’ll say, “That totally reminded me of this!” and then suddenly I have hyperlinks galore. It’s one thing if it’s pertinent, they’re proud of writing it, and they just want to share. But often it’s for monetary gain like for an online prostitute. Your writing could conceivably remind people of hookers, but it’s unlikely since your opening paragraph never has a good hook. Nevertheless, these are the people in society who will drop a piece of trash on the lawn with a garbage can two feet away. 
  9. THE ANONYMOUS COMMENTER – They mysteriously creep into the comments section during the wee hours of the morning and end their cryptic remarks with “Guess Who?” These are the people who keep “Your Secret Pal” notecard companies in business. They’re the ones who donate to charities and need zero credit or accolades. They’re also the guys who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. And the ram in the rama lama ding dong.  We see these people in our office around age 45 for an identity crisis.
  10. THE NON-COMMENTER – They’re out there because I see their names by the thousands on my follower’s list and they’ll occasionally venture out to click “like” on a post, but never so much as a “LOL” gets typed. They must be very shy. Shy? That’s the least of their issues. These are the most disturbed members of our blogosphere. Often repressed, suppressed, and fraught with sexual dysfunction. Or otherwise suffering from:

Like I said, please take this analysis strictly at face value because personally I think it’s just a bunch of psychoBloggle. 

And now….YOUR comments? 😉

Obvious | The Daily Post
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/obvious/