Saturday, May 31, 2008

The One Where He Drones On Forever And You Are Stuck Listening To It

Well, the weekend is upon us and really, who wants to spend all day reading something, especially when the weather is so nice and the kitchen needs to be cleaned. Wait, that last option doesn't sound like much fun.

I have an alternative for you. You can listen to something. It's really much more efficient an activity when you think about it. You can crank up the volume and do whatever you wanted to while still being able to listen. Your hands are freed up and you are not stuck in front of your computer. I prefer this option at work, but even though it is more efficient, my productivity suffers horribly.

Now here's the downside. The thing I am offering up for you to listen to is 9 minutes of solid, irrefutable evidence that I should stick to writing. I am going to choose to say it's because my podcast skillz (the use of the 'z' makes me hipper, though if you read that really quickly, you'll probably think I just wrote the word 'zipper') are a bit rusty since I haven't podcasted since Halloween. Gheesh, that's like 3 months ago.

So, if you'd like, feel free to click on over to what I like to call 'the essence of what hell will be like in audio form.' Have a great weekend!!!!!
(it may take a second to start, or you can always download it)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where Hath The Time Gone (And Why Am I Using Words Like Hath)?

Increasingly I am beginning to feel my advanced 34 years of age. The month of May has given me heart issues, that mysterious popping sound in my leg heard ONLY when I go up a flight of stairs and now yesterday’s events. Lucy and Ethel graduated from Kindergarten. I realize that apparently some people don’t view the completion of kindergarten as something worthy of a graduation ceremony (hi Mom), so I will rephrase that to say Lucy and Ethel completed Kindergarten with honors. Yes, I added the honors part. This all means that effective this morning, I can now say that I am the father of two first graders.

Here’s the rub: I don’t want to be able to say that. Not because it makes me feel old, unlike the effect of having two open-heart surgeries or falling asleep in the recliner before 9:30pm every night, but because I am not ready for my little ones to grow up. It also isn’t made any easier by the fact that they are now easily more mature than I am. I know that a lot of the people who read this blog have kids older than 5 and I honestly don’t know how you have watched your children grow up without immense sadness that renders you immovable. Unless of course that’s just me, in which case I made that part up. I feel fine. Solid as a rock. There’s just something in my eye.

I can see an end to the days where they want to sit and watch TV with me, want me around all the time and try to emulate me, except for saying ‘that’s what she said,’ because they have gotten very good at doing that. Don’t get me wrong because at the same time I am getting all wistful and sad, I am also feeling immense pride about how grown up they’ve become. It’s very Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jeykll, or is that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? See what it’s doing to me! I will admit though that it’s a little odd to be put in check and told what not to do by a 5-year-old, but they are smart enough now to realize what is appropriate and inappropriate in public settings. For the record, sticking elongated food items in your ears while at a restaurant or singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ on the edge of a public fountain is not appropriate. Nor is picking Lucy and Ethel up and playing them like guitars when I drop them off at school or try to sing along in a falsetto voice to all of their Disney movies. I could keep going on with examples like these, but I’m starting to think they don’t paint a good picture of me.

After a two month break Lucy and Ethel will enter the first grade and join the other salmon swimming up the stream of public education. Though salmon die at the end of that trip, right? Hmmm, that may not be the best analogy here. Well, I’ve got the next several years of public education to work on a better one. For now, the girls will be out of the house for almost 8 hours a day. And I’ll finally be able to set up my hammock in the back yard and, wait, I’ll be at work for all that down time so it really won’t be down time for me at all. Ok, I’m not wistful anymore. Now I’m just mad. For the first time since 2002 my little girls will be out of the house long enough to do whatever I wish, like play the Wii with no interruptions or eat my Tillamook cheddar without having to share and I will be busy working. Wait, I don’t want to do those things without my girls. They are my little best buddies. The proverbial Gilligans to my Skipper. The Robins to my Batman, the Barneys to my Andy, the C3POs to my R2D2, the Pips to my Gladys Knight, the Hillarys to my Obama…Ok, I’ve now officially taken the comparison thing too far. But now I’m wistful again.

A few years back, I wished that we could freeze one of the twins between the 1-3 age mark and let the other one grow up so we could have the best of both worlds. I now realize that’s not a good idea because carbon freezing almost killed Han Solo and that might bring some unjustified and unwanted attention to me, not mention the unavailability of that technology. Also and perhaps more importantly, I would not have gotten to experience the growth and maturity of both Lucy and Ethel. So, I am just going to try and enjoy each phase of their lives no matter how sentimental it makes me for all the phases and milestones they will continue to pass. But since they still giggle at the word ‘toot,’ I hoping maybe I’ve got a little more ‘kid’ time left than I thought.

Now, why the heck can't I get 'Cats In The Cradle' out of my head?

I just read that Harvey Korman passed away. Watching him crack up at Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show was a part of my childhood (in reruns of course) and it still cracks me up whenever I see it...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This Is One Mission That Will Not Go Down The Drain

Space travel can be pretty serious and life threatening stuff. After all, if we had been meant to be space dwellers, we would have been born there. Wow, that may have been the dumbest thing I have ever written. Well, not counting the proposal I turned in at work once that had errors I put in it just to see if they would be found, because that was a whole different kind of dumb, as in I really thought I’d get away with it but didn’t and am lucky to still have a job.

It seems that our interstellar gamble with space travel has come back to bite us (in the rear) again. Yep, while taking Lucy and Ethel to school this morning, the radio reported that the toilet on the international space station has stopped working. I was immediately touched by how difficult dealing with this will be for the unlucky astronauts aboard the space station. Then I realized I could blog about their bodily relievement challenges and felt much better. Seriously though, what a hard time they now face. As anyone who has ever witnessed the failure of public restrooms on a NASCAR race weekend can tell you, non-operational toilets can make things messy real fast.

Not to worry though. As we showed in Apollo 13, nothing is beyond our ability to solve or overcome, even when it is in orbit. In other words, we can flush wipe away fix any problem. And the international space station’s toilet is no different. NASA has a contingency plan and that plan is…(I’m stalling here to let the excitement build, hum the 2001 Space Odyssey Theme or Star Wars or Star Trek or the original Battlestar Gallactica theme, if it helps) plastic bags with sticky openings. While I cannot 100% confirm this, it is my assumption (and remember, an assumption is making a brave speculation with too little information to actually make a speculation with) that the sticky opening of the bags are to help the bag affix to the ass-tronaut so it doesn’t detach while the bag’s user is well, using the bag. Because of that fun, but annoying because it’s not there when you really need it thing called gravity, the space station’s toilet has a fan and sucking type device so that the bodily relievement is drawn toward the appropriate storage device (Cosmic Relievement Assistance Procurer – CRAP. I was literally giddy in bed in the middle of the night last night when I finally thought of that) instead of being released into the space station.

I’m not sure if the astronauts have ever had training time with the sticky bags, but it certainly gives new meaning to the phrase ‘to boldly GO where no man has GONE before.’ Oh come on, you saw that coming the minute you knew this was a potty post. Let’s just hope it all goes smoothly because if the sticky bags prove difficult to master, the interior of the international space station is going to be the exact type of place where we’d see Mike Rowe say ‘and this…is a dirty job.’ Every time something goes wrong aboard the station or an astronaut gets flustered and yells ‘crap,’ all the other astronauts are going to instinctively duck to avoid undesirable floating objects (yes, UFO) aboard the station. Get comfortable, because I’m probably just going to sit here and make bathroom jokes at the poor astronauts’ expense for the rest of this post…

I guess there will be no splash landings aboard the station until the toilet gets fixed. Do you think Mission Control keeps radioing the astronauts to tell them ‘oh boy, urine trouble.’ Perhaps the astronauts are reciting the septic tank owners’ mantra of ‘if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow.’ At least I think that’s the septic users’ mantra. I really only know one family that has a septic tank, my aunt and uncle in Maine, and they have that saying needle pointed and framed over their toilet, which makes me think it’s the septic tank owners’ mantra. And let’s face it; if it isn’t then it really deserves to be.

Since Apollo 13 was such a huge hit, do you think this space challenge will be made into a movie if everything ends well? I bet the astronauts involved hope it doesn’t. I seriously doubt that they want to be the butt of a poop load of bathroom jokes. Do they really want all the difficult moments they encountered, like getting the sticky bags stuck to their fingers when trying to open them as they flail their hands around trying to get the bag off? Or how about when they had to use the ‘force’ to overcome the inevitable zero gravity induced constipation? Honestly, I have no idea if zero gravity induces that. I just couldn’t find any other way to work ‘the force’ into this post. Heck, zero gravity probably works on the body in the exact opposite way and makes the digestive system work at warp speed.

All right, I’ve got it all out of my system (that’s what the astronaut said). I’m done now. Thanks for indulging me. Do you think they use stools to reach things in zero gravity? How anal would that be? It’s pretty ass-inine, if you ask me. Ok, now I’m done.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Book ‘Em

Well, we all made it back to work after the weekend that marks the unofficial start to summer. We celebrated with 55 degree weather, the Danica Patrick 500 Indy 500, lobster ravioli from Trader Joes (I swear to you when I saw it in the freezer section, I heard angels sing for the first time. And I mean real angels, not the ones in Anaheim or the ones from those crappy Philadelphia Cream Cheese commercials) and of course a BBQ. Ok, you got me. The BBQ was actually a fire in the fireplace to keep the house warm, but there were flames and I got to go all goo-goo while watching them flicker. I also got to spend some time in a book store, which got me thinking. In my defense though, I only mentioned to my friends three times that I was going to have to blog about it. Ever notice how often we say that phrase? I just spilled lemonade on my shorts, I gotta blog about it. Thanks to a fortunate twist of rigor mortis, the dead possum in the middle of the road looks like it’s flipping me off. I gotta blog about it. I just saw a program on TV about cheese. I gotta blog about it. I woke up today with the greatest idea for a blog post, ever. I gotta blog about it. Wait, that one kinda makes sense…

So like I said, I found myself in a bookstore over the holiday weekend. I don’t know if everyone who likes to write and has ever dreamed of publishing a book feels this way, but I’m always amazed at the variety in a bookstore. Though I guess that’s the natural thought progression to being amazed as a kid by the variety at Baskin Robbins. 31 different flavors? Do you know how long it would take me to sample that many different varieties of ice cream if I could only have one flavor a day? It would take like a month. Hmmm, that’s not as impressive a stat as I was hoping it would be, unless…it was a month like February. Yeah! Then it would take me a month and a couple of days!

I always get the same feeling when I am in a bookstore. Actually, I guess I always get two feelings, but one of them is an urge. Yes, I seem to always want to bust spontaneously into a song and dance number. I assume that’s because it’s so quiet in a bookstore and I seem to have issues with the status quo. So, pardon me if you are ever in the same bookstore as I am and your reading a book instead of buying it browsing is interrupted by me dancing through the store loudly singing John Menllencamp’s ‘Authority Song.’ The other feeling is the one I meant to write about. I always look at the ginormous selection of books on every topic known to man and some that weren’t previously known to man (or woman or child, sorry) and think ‘who honestly reads this stuff?’ That thought is followed shortly thereafter by ‘if I bought a cup of coffee in the bookstore’s coffee shop and promptly spilled it all over a large paperback book, would I be liable? After all, by selling coffee in the bookstore, they are saying it’s ok to parade around inventory consisting of basically nothing but paper products with a hot and stainable liquid.’ I also find myself thinking ‘not only do I wonder who reads this stuff, who writes it? And better yet, who gets paid to write it and why didn’t I think of that?’ Those last questions there are more to the point. The spilling of hot liquid, while valid, doesn’t really have anything to do with this post.

If you have ever suffered from writer’s block, take a trip to your local mega-chain bookstore to get over it. It will most certainly inspire you to write about whatever you want. I saw books about road trips based solely on great food joints, books about the hamburger and books containing nothing but surfboard photographs. By the way, I now have the utmost admiration for the original surfers. Their boards were featured in the surfboard book and the tips of the earliest boards were essentially the same pointy-ness as a knife used to cut open the secret ingredient on Iron Chef America. You could grab one of those boards and easily surf and harpoon a large sea dwelling mammal at the same time. I guess it would be called Surpooning?

All of this brings me to an idea. Don’t worry though; this idea will be much better than my idea for combining lawn darts and the Slip and Slide (Darts and Slide – trademark TBD. It was inspired by Dan Akroyd’s character who sold Bag O’Glass and Johnny Switchblade on SNL). I had sensory and creative overload after my most recent trip to the bookstore and started reeling off dozens of book ideas. Though the one I had for a coffee table picture book featuring time-lapsed photography of me shaving my face with a dull electric razor did not qualify as a real idea, according to family and friends. Nor did my idea for a book that could only be read under black ultraviolet light called ‘The Big Book Of Almost Invisible Stains.’

And need I really tell you that I thought the ‘Yearbook of Potato Chips – Portraitures in Similarites, Class of 2008’ would be the biggest fad since ‘Where’s Waldo?’ It was going to be a fake yearbook containing people’s yearbook-style photos of their potato chips that look like Jesus, Elvis, Richard Nixon, etc. I was really ready to move forward with this one, until I went through 5 bags of different types of chips (including those fakers – Sun Chips) Memorial Day Monday and did not find a single look-alike. I did find one chip that looked exactly like another chip in the same bag, but since neither chip looked like someone famous, I don’t think the unique twin factor is as impressive.

After that spectacular failure and consuming 30,000 calories in chips that looked like no one, not even President Millard Fillmore, I have decided I want to write a book about all of the books in the bookstore. It’s similar to other ideas people have had, but if I pretend not to be aware of those ideas, it holds me unaccountable, right? The book can be my written tour of what’s actually in a bookstore, including the popular, the mundane, the obscure, the best-sellers and yes, the bargain table. Or, I could just live inside of the bookstore and be sustained by only things in the bookstore (including the coffee shop) for 2 straight weeks. Picture Morgan Spurlock’s McDonalds stunt combined with Les Stroud’s Survivor Man on The Discovery Channel. I’ll just work my way through each and every aisle, chronicling what I find and the books I skim. It would be an avid reader’s idea of heaven. I was going to go with the working title of ‘Book Whore in the Book Store,’ but I fear my mom would be very embarrassed when she finally sees my name in print and it’s next to the word ‘whore.’

So, if any of you know of a bookstore that is willing to let me live there (rent free) for 2 straight weeks, please send them my way. Although, I guess I should find a publisher first. How ironic would it be to write an entire book about bookstores and living in and off of one and then not be able to get it published or sold in a bookstore? Actually, when I stop to think about it, that sad eventuality kind of sums up my life. Wow, that’s depressing…

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Job A Day…

This may come as a shock to a few of you, but I am not the biggest fan of my job. Actually, I fear the people at my job are not the biggest fans of me, but that’s not really material to this discussion. It’s just something I’m pretty sure I’ve FELT. Get it? Material, felt? Never mind. I bring all of this up because a) I didn’t think I could make an entire post out of the recent mysterious popping noise that my left leg know makes only when climbing stairs and b) I recently found the coolest website and it is somewhat job related.

I am a dreamer, well it might be more like hallucinator as many of my dreams have no basis in reality, let alone some magical dream-like place where beef jerky grows on trees and I can openly blog at work. Ok, I am a ‘hallu-ceamer.’ I was going to go with hallu-creamer, but I didn’t want you to think I just sit around putting weird things in thickened dairy products. Well, I do prefer to eat cottage cheese with pasta sauce in it, but again, that’s not material here.

I often merge my halluceaming and work. I have envisioned many great jobs for me. Some include cheese, some include barbequing and yes, some even include getting large sums of money for blogging about the mundane and trivial. Heck, I’d even pimp myself out if I could get paid to blog about important stuff like religion and politics and cheese. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I came across something in a magazine about What I mean to say is that I got excited once I looked up the meaning of ‘vocation.’ Basically, they have done a bunch of work so you can pay money to try out any of your dream jobs for a day. This is where you cue the big horns and strings musical number that conveys the very idea of perfection. If it helps, picture the clouds parting and the sun beginning to shine (or just listen to Bobby Darin’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’).

I eagerly typed in the URL, or website address, as I believe it is called and waited nanoseconds (helloooooo DSL) for the site of my dreams, the very anticipation of my life, to be displayed before me. My fingers navigated the website with the wanton abandon of, uh, someone that really wanted to see something. There, laid out in plain view were jobs that minutes before, I could only have dreamed of getting the chance to try. Actually, since it costs a thousand or so dollars to me mentored on and then try some of these jobs, I still have to dream about them, but now the dream is a little closer to reality. Sorry, I should have warned you prior to unleashing that sappy, over used cliché there, but I was typing too fast to stop.

I’d like to focus on just a few of these humdingers (is it still hip to use that?) for a moment since I think they are the same humdingers (obviously, I am assuming you answered yes to my hipness question just a minute ago) you might be interested in. First there is ‘Voice-Over Artist.’ As you may or may not know, I like to talk (if you don’t believe me, just check out my podcasts link to the right over there). How great would it be to do voice-overs for stuff? I really could care less what the stuff is, as long as I get to do the voice-over for it. Pesticides, anti-fungal creams, it doesn’t matter. I’d be doing voice-overs. Though I’m not sure how excited my friends and family would be to get to say things like ‘why yes, that is Michael’s voice on the hemorrhoid commercial. Didn’t he sound in fine voice tonight?’ I had to use that last phrase from ‘A Christmas Story’ because I rarely get to work it into conversation. And what if we all got really good at voice-overs and got to do cartoons or car commercials? See? Dream job.

Then there is the first one that caught my eye. It was ‘Be A Cheese Maker.’ Yes, I realize it’s a little down the list alphabetically, but sometimes in my excitement, I can be a skimmer. Can you just imagine being a maker of cheese? As in making it? Cheese. Making cheese. My fingers are getting weak just typing that. The only problem is that if I ever got to make cheese I might be tempted to keep it as a trophy of the first cheese I ever made. Sure, I’d taste it and give a little to my cheesiest friends, but then I’d make it a trophy. The only problem with that is that it would end up being a trophy of the first cheese I ever cut… Sorry, had to. My fear is that in it’s trophied state, it would turn green and become moldy. I don’t think I could handle that. Not only would it break my heart because my primo creation would be ruined, but it would stink to high heavens. Trust me, there is a cheese plant in my city and whenever we drive by it, human nature leads us to start looking suspiciously at everyone else in the car trying to figure out ‘who dealt it.’

I could spend several thousand more words on just the cheese making job, like what type of cheese, what awesome ingredients I could infuse (see, the 5 hours a night I watch The Food Network is finally paying off) into the cheese, what goes into actually making it and the fact that I could have the title of ‘Cheese Maker’ under my name on my business card (which of course would be yellow and have cheese holes all over it), but there are other great dream jobs just waiting for me to fantasize about. I could try being a pit crew member, racetrack manager, a freakin’ schooner captain, a dairy owner, restaurant critic (perhaps my true calling as it involves food and writing) or even a professional speaker (who lives in a van down by the river!).

This website is willing to also let me be a farmer or a dude rancher. Now seriously, who hasn’t seen City Slickers and just wanted to try that for a while. By the way, is Jack Palance still alive? I can’t remember. Then there is the other real dream I have always wanted to try: baseball radio announcer. Growing up I really wanted to do that, but then I had the privilege of hearing the great Vin Scully call Dodgers games every night and who wouldn’t be motivated by that.

Getting to be a baseball announcer for at least one day would let me accomplish 2 things. I’d finally get to try it and I would no longer have to hear my grandmother say ‘it’s a shame you never became a sports announcer, you would have been so good at it. You didn’t even try. I always wanted you to be a sports announcer. If only you had listened to me.’ See, what man wouldn’t want to pay a thousand dollars to not have to hear that anymore.

My only concern with trying out these dream jobs is the insurance and liability aspect of the whole thing. Sure you get mentored before trying the job, but that can’t replace years of trying and doing, which I’m hoping aren’t the same thing. To be safe, we’ll just say that it can’t replace years of experience. There, that’s better. Let’s be honest, I have been known to walk into filing cabinets in our office because I was concentrating on something else. I have also walked into a sliding glass door thinking it was open. Although in my defense, it was really clean and streak free. Oh come one, you’ve all done it. Maybe I’ll just choose a job that doesn’t involve walking. I’ve got it! I’ll be a Marine Animal Care Specialist. Oh that reminds me, when was the last time I fed the fish…

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Work Blogging…Yeah, I know, It’s Wrong And Stuff

I used to do a weekly Top Ten And A Half list each Friday and then got too lazy forgot to keep doing them. So, I am reposting one of my Top Ten ½ lists today. Please remember that I do a Top Ten ½ to avoid copyright issues and because back when I started this last year, I thought the extra 1/2 was clever for some reason. With age comes wisdom and both are now telling me it might not have been as clever as I initially believed. I'm pretty sure the inventors of the Edsel and New Coke know what I'm talking about.

As I sat in the office all day, I realized how much I miss blogging at work, and believe me, I used to blog a whole lot while in the office. I can say that now because I already got caught. I knew it was taboo to do so, but so is flaunting bad taste and we still have Paris Hilton walking around. So, I will dedicate this Top Ten And A Half List to:

‘The Top Ten And A Half Ways Work Is Different Since I Stopped Blogging There.’

11. I find myself gazing into my monitor dreaming about how many comments I have gotten or what other people have posted on their blogs. It’s a lonely, distant feeling.

10. I am apparently one of my office’s top performers.

9. It appears as though I have a new coworker – and he started back in November.

8. I am now forced to say ‘That’s What She Said’ to my coworkers because I can’t visit blogs and leave TWSS in other’s comment sections. They are not as appreciative of it as blogsville is. At least that’s what the lady from HR advised me. Well, that’s what she said any way.

7. Apparently we hold weekly staff meetings. Now I am wondering how many of them I missed. Or more importantly, why no one bothered to let me know about the staff meetings as they were happening.

6. I never noticed the phone in my cubicle. It rings, too. A lot. Too much actually, if you ask me.

5. For some reason I have three calendars on my drab cube walls and they haven’t been changed in 4 months. Oh man, did I miss a lame and questionable holiday again??

4. It turns out I sing very loudly while in the office and never even realized it. The fact that I don’t get requests should tell you how popular the singing is.

3. I wasn’t aware that every day I am required to be in the office for 8 hours – in a row.

2. My office computer can actually be used for something called ‘work tasks’ like email and document creation.

And the number one way that work is different since I stopped blogging there is:

1. In my at-work blogging stupor, I didn’t realize that a photo was taken of me while I was...

OK everybody, have a great holiday weekend and unofficial start to summer. I plan on grilling...the first person that ticks me off at work tomorrow. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Exercise In Futility (Also Known As ‘This Post…Sucks’)

If you have ever seen my favorite movie, ‘So I Married An Axe Murderer,’ then you know exactly how to say ‘this post…sucks.’ Keep that saying close at hand for the next few minutes. I have taken a holiday from sharing holidays with you this week. And I promise if that is as clever as I can be today that you can just stop reading now and I’ll still respect you tomorrow. Well, I might not respect you as much, but I’m certainly not going to tell you that or act like my respect for you has diminished in any way. I mean not that I’d be fake about it or anything but the truth is that I have already forgotten the reason I was writing and was just sort of hoping I could write my way out of it until it came back to me. It’s a pretty handy trick if you’ve never tried it. And the best part is that it works with both speaking and writing. In fact 87.4% of my 590 or so posts have been completed with this method and just ask my boss how effective the speaking form of the trick is when I am in staff meetings. On second thought, don’t. My last employee review specifically mentioned no longer using filibusters to cover up for what I was not prepared to speak about and to lay off the work blogging. Ok, I made that up, but I know that’s what he WANTED to say.

So here’s the deal. I have come up with nothing to write about today. Oh sure this week is National Backyard Games Week, I FINALLY found a Melting Pot close to me and one of my coworkers just told me that he recently attended a 1980s costume party dressed as Magnum PI complete with short shorts, but nothing has really struck me as being truly blogworthy today. I thought about following up my atrial fib post with one about how fun it is living with inner ear damage, but it just seemed too soon. And yes this is the weekend of 1100 beautiful miles of Indy Car and NASCAR racing, but all too often not enough people seem to care.

Once upon a time, I was going to assemble all of my possible post ideas in an easy to use, indexed and categorized file box complete with stickers, but I found a penny on the floor and got a little distracted. Now I’m wishing that penny had never entered my life. Heck, it costs our government more to make a penny than it is actually worth. I guess in retrospect it’s ok I didn’t spend all that time working on it because I would have gotten all excited and made the box the focus of my life for about 4 days and then gotten too lazy to keep putting ideas into it.

Then on a day like today when I can’t think of anything to write about I would remember the existence of the box, open it up and hear crickets and see a moth fly out of it (assuming of course that I lived in an animated cartoon world) and only have 4 index cards to choose from. And with my luck, 2 of those cards would probably contain recipes because I wasn’t paying attention when I filed them. That of course would lead to the time when I am looking for a new dish to cook for dinner and pull out a new recipe to try and instead of ingredients and instructions it has my thoughts about how we can beat global warming by making more ice cubes.

I was tempted to brag about how I let a little useless office information (which is way different than a rumor, thank you very much) slip so I could test how quickly it took to get back to me (less than 23 minutes, by the way). I could give in and finally write my ‘100 Things’ post that gives you completely useless information about me. 100 of them to be exact, but I couldn’t guarantee that several of them wouldn’t be the same things mentioned in the song ‘My Favorite Things.’ Although, raindrops on roses really don’t do anything special for me. Actually, either do whiskers on kittens or bright copper kettles. Warm, woolen mittens on the other hand (or both hands) come in very handy. I could continue, but I think you get the point.

In fact, I think I’ll just end this post right now. Yep, it took just shy of 2 years, but it looks like I have finally jumped the shark with this post. Oh wait. Now I remember what I originally wanted to write about. It was fish sticks. Oh well, there’s always another day. Please?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fun* With Atrial Fibrillation

I debated about whether I would write a post solely devoted to atrial fibrillation since it might not be as fun to read if you have never experienced it and no one likes an inside joke that they aren’t part of. Do I say this from first hand experience? I don’t want to talk about it! Anyway, I shall attempt to get to the heart of atrial fibrillation. Oh come on, that’s funny. Perhaps not as funny as an America’s Funniest Home Videos crotch shot, but then what really is.

A couple of weeks ago, I slipped back into atrial fibrillation, again. That basically means that some part of my heart isn’t pumping right and that my heartbeats are all irregular. And no amount of bran is gonna fix this irregularity. My heart more or less quivers instead of pumping blood to wherever it should go, which is undoubtedly somewhere in my body. I’d like to be more ‘medical’ with my descriptions, but I tend to drift off when my cardiologist gets all med school graduate on me. Sadly, the same thing happens when people start mentioning numbers or stats to me. When you combine both, I think I just sort of start drooling and mentally picturing rainbows and leprechauns and dolphins that know my name. It’s really a nice place. They have cheese and ice cream and steak. Wait a minute, when did I walk into the grocery store…

Essentially, I have an irregular heart rhythm. I’ve had it about 10 times over the last 8 years, which really sucks because rhythm is the one word I cannot spell. I think it’s the placement of the ‘y’ that messes with me. I’ve tried to come up with alternatives to ‘rhythm,’ but haven’t succeeded. Sadly, my guilty feet (and every other part of me) just have no rhythm (Wham). Oh sweet patron saint of John Wayne movies, did I just quote Wham? Well that was most certainly a careless whisper on my part. Aw crud, I just did it again. The closest alternative word I came up with was ‘off beat,’ but it doesn’t sit with me well yet. Hopefully some day I’ll learn how to spell rhythm without the aid of a spell checker. I mean how hard can it be to spell when in my sleep I can spell supercalifrag…never mind.

One may ask how someone’s heart can develop an irregular rhythm. Actually go ahead and ask me that so I can answer it. I’ll wait, go ahead…

Well, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking. My cardiologist says that my atrial fibrillation is due to the stress and development of heart failure after having lived with my bad valve for so long because the heart was forced to work so hard (at least now I can take solace that part of me is a hard worker), though I think it has to do with me sticking my tongue on too many 9-volt batteries as a kid. Apparently, the heart is one big mass of electrical impulses. When the heart gets tweaked, the electrical impulses start firing at the wrong time, thus messing up the rhythm. I should also mention that having the heart cut into doesn’t do much to help it either. In fact, I can support this with my 3 receipts for emergency room visits within 2 weeks of coming home from open heart surgery.

In the past, I have gone to the emergency room, been put asleep and had my heart shocked back into regular rhythm. If you have never been smashed on the head with a hard object and then seen tweety birds and stars, let me tell you that it’s pretty much the same thing. There are a few negative side effects to this, such as having part of my nipple shaved off by a nurse who wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing and burning of the skin. I also bit off a chunk of my tongue once when I lurched in my sleep during the shock. The medical term for the procedure is ‘cardioversion,’ but I prefer to call it a very expensive jump start. Then they adjust my antiarrythmic medication in the hopes that the atrial fib won’t return. I’m pretty much out of medicine options right now. The strongest and last medication I haven’t yet tried will turn my face blue. As I am already short, I do not relish the prospect of being referred to as a Smurf for the rest of my life, so that option is off the table. I should probably mention that the same medication ruins the lungs over time. My cardiologist assures me that reason is much more important than the Smurf thing. I seriously have my doubts.

However, lest you think that having chronic atrial fibrillation is a downer, I am here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth, especially when you have an artificial heart valve that ticks loud enough for people to hear it or children to be able to make comparisons between you and the crocodile that ate Captain Hook’s wrist watch in Peter Pan. I’m not sure that I just wrote the longest sentence ever, but I was definitely hoping for top ten there. One of the fun things to do is sit in a car with coworkers or in the conference room during those quiet and awkward final moments while we wait for a staff meeting to start. If it’s quiet enough and the acoustics are right, you can watch people start looking around trying to figure out what the ticking sound is. I love it when they finally rule out everything else and realize it’s me. This is usually when I start singing Rod Stewart’s ‘Rhythm Of My Heart’ softly. I know what you are thinking and the answer is yes, that’s the ONLY Rod Stewart song I often go around singing. Seriously.

That’s not all the fun to be had though. At night, I enjoy laying in bed and listening to my irregular heart beats and ticks. If I’m patient enough, the heart rhythm becomes the same as some of the 70s’ greatest disco tunes. Except when I get really calm right before falling asleep and then I swear I hear the beat of ‘The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ (Gordon Lightfoot) or Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ and that just freaks me out to the point of not being able to sleep. I’m also pretty sure that Lucy and Ethel have learned the tempo of a proper waltz thanks to my atrial fibrillation.

So there you have it, with the proper frame of mind, anything can be fun. This includes having low enough blood pressure that every time you bend over you begin to pass out and get all white headed. Oh wait, I think I mean light headed. White headed would mean I need Jessica Simpson’s ProActive.

*In this case, the word ‘fun’ is being used as a subjective, somewhat sarcastic term, much in the same way that I use ‘Oprah’ or even ‘the.’

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Cheese To End All Cheese?

I love cheese, many of you love cheese, so it just seemed that writing about this next cheese was something I had to do after learning of its existence. And I will admit that it’s a much better topic than the other one I was toying with: Starbucks’ new nudie mermaid logo. They get enough publicity. But Casu Marzu on the other hand, does not. If you had asked me about Casu Marzu, I would have told you it was the fancy name of the mansion overlooking Corona or that it was possibly the name of that weird sounding band from the 80s. Oh wait, that might actually be Spandau Ballet, and I have no idea what the heck that means. I understand ballet, but is Spandau just a fancy way of saying Spandex? Because a spandex ballet might be kind of funny to watch. Perhaps a little chaffy for the performers, but that’s what they get for wearing non-breathable spandex during a dance performance!

It seems I have drifted of course, again. This post was supposed to be all cheesy. Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. It’s the same temptation I gave into yesterday when Lucy and Ethel were playing with their magnetic letters and there was a little issue with Lucy needing 2 ‘p’s. For those of you keeping score at home, that would also be ‘pp’ and it led to me spending most of the afternoon saying things like ‘Ethel give your sister your PP’ and ‘Ethel Lucy wants your PP.’ I realize it’s not very grown up, but then either am I. It is a little unsettling when you realize that your 5-year-old daughters are slightly above that type of humor however…

OK, back to the cheese. By the way, I swear back to the cheese will the title of a screenplay I write before I die, most likely from clogged arteries. At this time, I would like to introduce you to a little something called Casu Marzu. I guess I actually introduced you to it in the first paragraph, but I didn’t introduce it correctly. I am horrible at introductions and often mess them up. Now days I just try to stand in between the two people I should be introducing and just hope they take it upon themselves to introduce each other in an effort to break the awkward silence. I come out looking like an idiot, but they get to meet each other and I usually discover I had been calling at least one of them by the wrong last name. It works out quite beautifully.

Casu Marzu is cheese. Unofficially, it is referred to as maggot cheese. MMMMM, doesn’t that sound scrumpulicious? I need to mention that it’s not one of those cute or clever names that has nothing to do with the title because horribly enough, this cheese has a lot to do with maggots. I may have just lost many of you with a double maggot reference (triple if you choose to count that last one there) and I will warn you that many of you may not want to continue. If that is the case, have a great day and I will see you tomorrow with something much less gastronomically offensive.

This cheese will test how loyal of a cheese-ist you really are. It will make you question how serious you are to your cheese commitment and how far you will go to prove your allegiance to one of life’s most delicious things to come from a cow’s udder. It is a somewhat altered or embellished cheese, if you will. As the cheese begins fermentation, it is filled with larvae, who eat it, break down its fats and allow it to further ferment into a soft cheese with a little bit of liquid, according to Wikipedia. Sorry, I just dove right into that description without much of a warning. Please forgive me. So now, not only do we have little bugs in our cheese, we get liquid out of it. That is completely disgusting. I’m sure you were already thinking that, but I like to state the obvious, such as ‘it looks like it’ll be either Barack or Hillary for the Democrats.’

However, that is nowhere near the best part of this cheese. It is actually dangerous. What, you ask? Maggot larvae filled cheese with oozy cheese-water is bad for you? Shocking! Why yes it is. It can become too toxic, the larvae can cause intestinal problems and the cheese can lead to some allergic reactions. But the one danger that takes the cake for the cheese, to awkwardly mix metaphors, is the fact that Casu Marzu can lead to eye damage. Go ahead, ask me why cheese can cause eye damage. Well, the LARVAE CAN JUMP AND OFTEN STRIKE PEOPLE IN THE EYES AS THEY ARE EATING THE CHEESE. Is that not precious priceless? So now when you show up to a family event wearing an eye patch, you will no longer have to tell them that you are pretending to be a pirate, hurt yourself horsing around with lawn darts or got that part as the evil villain on a daytime soap opera. You can tell them that you were struck by cheese larvae. On second thought, your reputation might be better served to say you think you are a pirate.

So that my friends is Casu Marzu. I love cheese, but have now officially drawn the line with regard to my love. Apparently, there is such a thing as conditional love. I would now like to express that conditional love in the form of a Dr. Seussian type poem, if you’ll permit me.

I love cheese.
I love it more than my knees or that stuff that is made by flowers and bees
I love it in the night; I love it in the light
I’ll eat with hair or even a bear
I’ll eat it when it falls in the sand, right straight out of my hand
I shall melt it or smelt it or fry it or dry it
I’ll take it with wine or with pulled swine
I shall eat it off the floor or instead of a smore
I like it with holes, I like it with moles
I will eat cheese every day; I will eat cheese every way
I will even eat it with thugs or melted in mugs
But one thing I will not do is eat it with bugs
So yes, I will eat fondue, but never, ever Casu Marzu
Seriously, that’s freakin’ disgusting

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hello CIA, I’m Responding To Your Ad

I joked last week (meaning November of 2006 when I originally wrote this because yes, this is a repost, but I took the time to spruce it up and add things like George Lucas did to Star Wars) about wanting to do a story based on a radio commercial I heard about the fact that the CIA is hiring, but I was too afraid of Big Brother. I mean if my work monitors my blog, there's no telling what the CIA is doing. Well, after reading this AP story about the CIA on Yahoo, I’m ready to. The story is about how the CIA is looking for new employees, which I guess they call 'vacuum sales persons,' though I think that's code for something. The story says that they have shown ads during baseball games, taken out ad space in various magazines and airport billboards as well as during movie trailers and airtime during 'Dancing With The Stars.' Ok, I made that last one up. It even says the CIA has hired an ad agency.

I bet the ad company’s creative folks are having a blast pitching ideas to CIA employees. I can hear it now, 'ok guys, if you don’t think this tagline is good, you’re not going to shoot or torture me, right? Guys, smile, that was just a joke, really. The last thing we want to do for you guys is bomb. Get it, bomb? It's an explosive device and it also means to do something poorly. OK, it was a bad joke. Let's just keep that a secret. You guys are good at keeping secrets. Oh, I'm killing myself. Well, better me than you CIA guys...'

Now I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one noticing how weird it is that our government’s intelligence agency is publicly seeking employees. Apparently one of the things the CIA wants to do is wipe away the notion that all CIA work is like the very fictional world of James Bond. I’m sure my stereotypical driveling in the next few paragraphs is the EXACT type of thinking they want to discourage, but I just can’t help it. After all, when you've spent your entire life watching the 25 or so Bond films 30 times each, that works out to about 73 Bond viewings, right? Any way, that's a lot of stereotyping to have to forget.

What a relief though to know that if the CIA were to hire me I wouldn’t have to go out and buy enough tuxedos for every day of the week, especially those 1970s ones with the bow ties the size of a small Volkswagen and bell bottoms that could hide, well, the same small Volkswagen. It would be a little sad in a way to be hired by the CIA and have all of those myths associated with covert work demystified so quickly. And when in the heck did I start using phrases like ' myths associated with covert work demystified?' Sorry about that. Let me try that sentence again. It would be a little sad in a way to be hired by the CIA and get all dissappointy because the job wasn't all James Bondish like I thought it was going to be. Whew, that reads much better! I could see myself sitting in my new cubicle saying to no one in particular, “so this is it, really? Can my ballpoint pen kill anybody? When do I get to meet Q? Did I miss the lady with the caviar cart or does she come by after lunch?” At that point I’m sure I’d be executed…I mean fired. Oops.

Although I know nothing about the workings of our country’s intelligence agency (I swear. I don't even know anything about the workings of the company I work for), I would imagine that working in a cubicle there beats working in a cubicle for anyone else. Let's face it, right off the top the actual cubicle is going to be better because it's probably bullet-proof. My guess is that the two most interesting departments would be HR and the requisitioning department. My mind can only imagine what items would be requisitioned at the CIA. Of course, in reality it’s probably the same type of stuff at any company like pencils, pens, computers, paper, copier toner, post-its that can render someone unconscious and explosive tie clips. Wouldn’t it be great to hear a line like 'did you get that order of magnetic, homing device, self destructing wrist watches filled yet' or 'the submarine, machine gun equipped, flying, invisible HYBRID (because we all should go green) Ferraris will be here next week' just once while at work.

HR might be the easiest department since every personnel file would be marked ‘classified.’ Imagine having to review someone’s file to determine whether administrative leave is necessary after he or she destroyed an entire riverfront Bistro in pursuit of a wanted dangerous international smuggler. More than likely, the day-to-day monotony of a CIA HR person would be filled with healthcare enrollment options, retirement packages and sexual harassment claims filed by older cold war spies who can't stop themselves from hitting on their new, young secretaries by calling them names that have sexual innuendos like Ms. Honey Chest or Florence Tightpants and asking if they’d like to see his Aston Martin (if you catch my drift).

Man, I bet the training films are great to watch. Do you think they save money and just show Bond films or do you think they actually make the training films themselves? Do the training films talk about how important it is to put the poisonous breath mints in a different pocket than your mints or to make sure you check for bugs and wiretaps when you check into a hotel, even if it's a Holiday Inn? Does it cover the importance of leaving your disguises in the office and not forwarding government email to your best friend from high school just because it says ‘for your eyes only’ or ‘this message must be destroyed after receipt?’ My mind tingles at the possibilities.

Do you think the CIA plays other government entities in a governmental softball or bowling league? I bet that all the CIA players show up in Ray-Ban sunglasses and fake beards. I wonder if the other teams just throw the games right from the start because they are afraid of what would happen if they beat the CIA. No matter what the answers to all of these questions are, I think it would be great to join the CIA. I may actually have to apply. Or perhaps I applied several years ago and was hired...Bwahahahaha.

**Author’s Disclaimer: Of course, I do not work for the CIA. Although if I did, I could not tell you. No, seriously, I’m just your everyday Monday through Friday cubicle dweller who writes a blog. I have no knowledge of espionage or intelligence gathering. I am not even pretending to, as that is probably a crime. Although if I did have knowledge about it, telling you would definitely be a crime. But I’m not, so there…

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Randomocity Killed The Cat*

Pat yourselves on the back. You made it to the end of another week. Please join me in celebrating that achievement with the next two days off and way too many Pop Tarts, won't you? Now, here’s the usual end of the week leftovers random thoughts. Have a great weekend!

* I have come to the conclusion that Friday afternoons are the afterbirth of the work week. You know it’s coming, but the important stuff has already passed.

* Next time it is 4:42 in the afternoon and I accuse a coworker of cheating the company by setting her clock so far in advance, I should pay attention to what that day’s date is. What never occurred to me is that my coworker’s clock can also display the numbers ‘5-09’ as the date and not the time. As my coworker rightly predicted, I will NEVER live that little mistake down…

* Does anyone else find themselves averting their eyes whenever Ronald Reagan kisses a woman in his movies because it’s a woman other than Nancy?

* You know you are doing something right as a parent when your daughter is stirring the sweetener into your tea, takes a test sip and tells you ‘you’ll like this Daddy, it’s like steak, except it’s a drink.’ They grow up so fast…

* I should never eat peanuts when in a put down session at work. We often engage in put down sessions daily as we yell loud enough to be heard without having to leave our cubicles. I’d say we do it to ease the stress of the work day, but I think we just can no longer stand each other. I was the recipient of a rather sharp put down the other day and responded with my mouth full of peanuts by yelling ‘it’s a good thing I have a mouth full of peanuts right now or you’d be in trouble!’ Sadly, when your mouth is full of peanuts, it actually sounds like you are saying that your mouth is full of something else. And let’s face it; there is really no way to recover from that.

* Perhaps I am too easily excited when I have to announce a family party just to celebrate the fact that I found a version of Shirley Bassey (the woman who sang some of the best James Bond themes: Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker) singing Barry Manilow’s Copacabana. Needless to say, the family party ended as a party of one.

* Even though you find it both timely and topical, never tell your boss that something is as useless as a Hillary Clinton win in West Virginia. Oh shoot, I referred to politics and probably just offended some of you. Sorry.

* Here’s a tip: when you walk into the break room and you think you hear one female coworker tell another female coworker ‘and you put it in your bra,’ just shut your mouth and don’t make a stupid comment. Doing so will allow you to hear the rest of the conversation where you would learn that they were sharing recipes and what was actually said was ‘and you put it in your broth.’ Plus, it might prevent you from accidentally offending two more people in your office.

*No feline was injured in the making of this post. Though, I did accidentally step on Ethel’s stuffed cat last night in the dark. But it wasn’t a real stuffed cat, it was from Build A Bear Workshop, which means I probably paid way too much for it and it probably has an outfit for every day of the week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Mow The Merrier

The gas price spike hike (I can’t even say it one time fast) has affected a lot of things from the price of food to the reduction of traffic to the stopping of the wonderful gasoline water fountain down at city hall. And it’s a shame too because the ‘fueling the future’ sculpture was so nice. Perhaps even more than that, it has put yet another crimp in my attempt to get a riding lawn mower (the other crimps of course being the relatively smaller size of my yard and the price of the mower, but those objections can be overcome with time, by which I mean constant nagging, whining and pleading until I get my way).

My pure unadulterated lust desire for a riding lawn mower was renewed when I read an AP story recently about how NY police arrested a man wearing a tuxedo who was tooling around on a riding lawn mower in the middle of the night. Yes, he was drunk, but I feel that just obscures the real story here. The real story being that he loved riding lawn mowers so much that he was willing to leave some event that required him to wear a tuxedo just to take a spin. Of course that is all pure speculation on my part (and it more than likely is due to the fact that he had been drinking, but I’m still ignoring that because it cheapens the whole beautiful story).

What guy out there has not fantasized dreamt of walking outside and mounting his trusty steed. Yeah, those last few words made me a little uncomfortable too. I’m just trying to say that I have yet to meet another guy that wouldn’t turn down the chance to pilot a riding lawn mower on a sunny, warm weekend afternoon with ice cold beverage in hand while listening to the selected hits from the S
mokey and the Bandit canon? Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine taking tight turns around bushes and shrubs (also defined as smaller bushes) leaving a fresh cut path of beauty in your wake while Jerry Reed serenades you with ‘Eastbound and Down.’ Yes my friend, you have a long way to mow and a short time to get there.

While riding a lawn mower might not be the best way to get in shape, it is a more fun way to manicure your lawn. I imagine it’s also a great way to have a little alone time. Just you, your ride and green asphalt baby! (I’m calling grass ‘green asphalt’ in an attempt to be hip. I’m pretty sure I failed in that objective). While the makers of mean green grass cutting machines might never have intended for people to sip away and slip away while on their mowers, they DID begin building them with cup holders on board. I’m just sayin’…

An oft overlooked point about riding mowers (and one that I employ frequently in my dialogue begging) is that the riding mower can actually be the most fuel-efficient vehicle in your garage. Mr. Tuxedo in NY obviously knew this. So too did country legend George Jones when his wife took away the car keys so he couldn’t drive to the liquor store. Yep, you guessed right, he took the riding lawn mower instead. Is it just me, or is that not one of the coolest stories you have ever heard? Useless Trivia Alert: That’s where Vince Gill got the line ‘she may have took the car keys, but she forgot about my old John Deere.’

I had hopes of teaching Lucy and Ethel to drive by using a riding lawn mower. Sensing that might not hap
pen, I have started using Mario Kart on the Wii instead. I fear they need more realistic training though as I’m pretty sure I got whiplash after letting Lucy drive on Autopia at Disneyland last time we were there. Yes, I know that ride is on a track, but with enough speed and reckless abandon, you can still get hurt. I also realize that they are only 5 ½, but my Dad didn’t start teaching me to drive until I was 16. Just think how much better a driver I would be if I had that extra 10-11 years of practice. Heck, I’ve just recently mastered the art of looking over my shoulders when I change lanes. And did you know most people use the rear view mirror on the windshield when backing up instead of angling it so you can see what your children are doing in the backseat? I say it’s never too early to start driving lessons.

So, I am officially adding riding lawn mower alongside deep fryer on my list of things I really want but would probably just end up getting me hurt. And speaking of fun things that aren’t good for you, could you imagine if someone found a way to put a deep fryer ON a riding lawn mower. The ramifications are just too exciting for me to even begin to vocalize. Cutting grass while preparing homemade corn dogs? I’m getting all shivery inside (that’s what she said).

By the way, it was 10 years ago today (May 14th) that Frank Sinatra passed away. I did not mean for that rhyme, at least not this time. OK, the last rhyme was intentional. So, let's all tip our fedoras to the passing of one cool cat.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Have you ever wanted to write about politics (heck, even hearing the word can get people riled up) but were afraid to upset or anger or offend or sadden or enflame or pander to or accuse or disenfranchise anyone? Well, I don’t know that anyone actually worries about disenfranchising readers, but the political pundits say that word whenever I watch election coverage on CNN and I wanted to try it out. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get to use it this early. I thought I’d have to mention Florida or the 2000 election before I got to say it. I have to admit though that it feels good. Well, saying disenfranchising feels good. I’m not really sure how actually disenfranchising somebody feels since I haven’t done that yet. There was a McDonalds in town where I grew up and they had horrible health standards. I think they were disenfranchised since the place is now a $1 Burger joint, but that might be something different. I’ll let you know for sure as soon as I look up the meaning of ‘disenfranchise.’

Truth be told, I enjoy politics. The ongoing race for the Democratic (uh-oh I probably just ticked half of you off) nomination is far more exciting than anything we have seen in politics in a long, long time. Well, with the notable exception of that hot chick that brought down the Governor of New York or that girl on Gary Hart’s lap back in the ‘80s. Those were kinda fun. And it was exciting when Lloyd Bentsen told Dan Quayle that he knew JFK and Quayle was no JFK. Or how about when Reagan responded to a jab from Walter Mondale by saying ‘Well, there you go again.’ I’m going to stop now, as I fear my Geeky Geekerson side is beginning to show…

Other than the tiny, practically insignificant fact that many people believe it would completely and permanently shatter the Democratic Party, the possibility that the nomination could go all the way to the Democratic National Convention (of course by the time you read this it could all be even a moot-er point than it is while I’m writing it) is enough to make some people downright giddy. Take that John King guy at CNN who uses that specialized digital map with so much dexterity that watching his fingers operate it is enough to cause people to experience vertigo, for example. I bet he’d be giddy.

By the way, is John McCain still running (uh-oh, I probably just ticked off the rest of you)? I haven’t heard anything from him in a while. I guess he’s already got his ticket to the proverbial big show so he can sit back and relax while everyone else tries to find a scalper or overpriced ticket agency that still has a pair (of tickets, that didn’t come out right). Yes it’s still May and no we don’t have a Democratic candidate yet (depending on who you ask), but I am ready to make a prediction. I am projecting that the next President of the United States will come from the United States Senate. That has not happened in quite some time. We’ve had an awful lot of Presidents recently who were governors prior to moving into the White House, but no Senators. The last person I can think of who became President directly after leaving the Senate was JFK. LBJ was a former Senator, but he served as JFK’s VP prior to becoming President so I am not counting that.

Whoa, there was a lot of information in that last paragraph there. Sorry, I didn’t mean to come so close to providing you with actual substance to read. That’s not my bag. Wait, that didn’t feel right. I’m not sure saying ‘that’s not my bag’ is really my bag. Although, it did feel a little better the second time. That’s what she said. There we go. That felt right. That’s what she said again.

So, how do you write about politics without offending half of the audience? I’m not sure that you really can because many people have their own side and their own view and stick to it the same way that peanut butter sticks to the roof of a dog’s mouth. Actually, politics can make some people salivate in the same exact manner. I think the real trick is being fair enough to not offend EITHER side, but since it’s politics and someone is gonna get ticked (plus the fact that it’s much less work to upset people than it is to not upset them), you should work on offending BOTH sides. And we all know that’s a lot more fun…

*It has come to my attention that I was not fair and unbiased in this post. It seems I mentioned some form of the word ‘Democrat’ four times and never actually mentioned some form of the word ‘Republican,’ even though I directly mentioned their candidate, John McCain. So, in my ongoing effort to upset both sides, I need to do this: Republican, Republican, Republican, Republican. There, now is everyone happy upset?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Top 10 Things NOT To Do On Mother’s Day, Even If They’re Accidental

I realize that this list would have been more helpful if I had shared it BEFORE Mother’s Day. I promise I’ll try to repost it in time next year. The following are examples culled from all of my male friends and family members. Please note that they are not mistakes I have made. Shirley Surely no single person is capable of being so absent minded. You believe that, right?

10. Do not sleep in until well after 10:30 (also know as Noon), especially when you may or may not have offered to serve breakfast in bed. Also, make sure you remember whether or not you offered to serve breakfast in bed. In addition, a late afternoon nap is not a good way to follow up the other stuff I just mentioned.

9. Not everyone believes that Indy 500 qualifying is the most important thing happening during the second weekend of every May.

8. Similarly, not everyone puts the same importance on having to watch a Ronald Reagan western just because it happens to be on TV. Though, who programs stuff like that on Mother’s Day? Father’s Day maybe, but not Mother’s Day. That’s when ‘My Fair Lady’ and stuff like that should be on.

7. Due to contrary belief, ‘having me and the twins’ is not always the greatest gift one can give...or get.

6. ‘Whatever you’d like to do honey’ may seem like a nice way to spend the holiday, but you really SHOULD have something planned. This is even truer (seriously, Microsoft Office assured me truer is a real word) when the phrase ‘whatever you’d like to do honey’ is followed with the disclaimer ‘except go to your parents for dinner.’

5. When your wife asks you if take out chicken sounds good for dinner, she’s not as much asking as she is telling. For God’s sake, don’t tell her you’re not in the mood for chicken.

4. Even if you did see your mother the Saturday night before Mother’s Day, or Mother’s Eve if you prefer, you should still call her on Mother’s Day. After all, ‘your brother in Arizona with a new baby found the time to call.’ Mom’s tend to remember this sort of error and won’t hesitate to bring it up when you least expect it or when it promises the maximum guilt effect for them, even more so if the mutha mother is Catholic.

3. Never get your father a Mother’s Day card with the explanation that ‘he did half the work.’ You may mean it as a joke, but your mom won’t take it that way.

2. Just because the entire family can use the inflatable pool you bought for Mother’s Day doesn’t make the gift special.

1. Before you buy and grill up several pounds worth of steaks, check with your wife to make sure that’s actually what she wanted for her special Mother’s Day meal.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Gettin’ Ready Song

No, that’s not a real song title. I mean there is the Temptations’ song called ‘Get Ready,’ but that’s about a different subject matter. That one is more of a warning to a lover or some chick that doesn’t wish to be the lover but is about to be pursued by 5 really swell guys all dressed the same who can dance to the music as one. Ok, I think that clears that up. I guess I never admitted to the blog world that I once wanted to be a Temptation. Don’t laugh; if it weren’t for that Peter Brady-like period in ’92 when my voice kept cracking whenever I would sing, I might have become the bass voice for The Temps. Well, until they saw me dance.

But enough about spilled dairy products, what I mean is the song you listen to or at least mentally play in your head while you get ready for a day at work or an evening out or maybe a job interview or like me, just taking the trash out. You know what I’m talking about here, right? It’s that song that fills you with confidence, inspires you and helps you walk just a little taller. And no, before this gets out of hand and nasty rumors start, my getting’ ready song is not from the songbook of the great Barry Manilow. It’s also not the theme to The Office, though I do hum that ‘incessantly,’ as my coworkers are fond of telling HR. Nor is it from Frank Sinatra or even Dean Martin or Bobby Darin. I’ll admit that those three play prominent roles in the soundtrack of my life, but in this case, they have become supporting cast.

It just occurred to me that maybe not everyone has a mental soundtrack that accompanies their life. Perhaps I should expand on that a little more so that you understand what I am talking about here. Simply put, you do things and it makes you think of a certain song. In fact, you may or may not hum or hear the appropriate music while doing the thing that made you think of the song in the first place. OK, I’ll admit, this whole idea seemed a lot better before I actually started committing it to paper. Now I’m just trying to fill empty space until I can wrap this up (as evidenced by those last two sentences that basically said the exact same thing. It was the same writing technique that got me through high school and college), because as some of the regular readers here have noted, the end of a post can sometimes be the most swell part (as I laugh, nervously. Hehe.) Once again, this is one of those times when I’ve already written too much to scrap it all and begin something new. Not only is that approach to writing efficient; it’s also lazy. So, my apologies in advance, but I am going to continue.

Music means a lot to me and adding music to our most mundane or enjoyable events is the spice or marinade on the tough and too lean piece of meat that is our metaphorical life. It softens it, makes it easier to enjoy and most certainly makes it more memorable. Unless of course you let is sit too long, at which point it just becomes overly mushy. And honestly, at this point I can no longer tell if I’m still writing about the soundtrack of life or metaphorical cuts of marinating beef. However, I will attempt to give you a few examples (of the mental soundtrack. I lack the dry ice required to give you examples of meat and the shipping would be tremendous). And now, a few examples…

When I am sneaking around the office (the reason WHY I am sneaking isn’t important), I often hum The James Bond theme. It makes it so much more exciting. And speaking of James Bond songs, whenever Lucy and Ethel accidentally strike me in the Man Area/Manitalia, I hear Tom Jones singing ‘Thunderball,’ but I guess that’s taking things in an entirely different direction. On those few occasions when I see animals doing that natural thing that eventually leads to more animals in the back parking lot of our office space, I hear Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On.’ When I find a way to overcome adversity, be it not being able to reach the top cabinet to put a dish away until I climb up on the counter or spell the word rhythm correctly instead of taking me the usual seven attempts, I hear Frank Sinatra’s ‘High Hopes.’ To me, there’s just nothing as inspiring as that little ole ant who actually had the audacity to think he could move that rubber tree plant.

During those two to three times a year that I use tools (like a hammer or a butter knife) I always sing James Taylor’s ‘I’m Your Handy Man.’ Whenever I have to go through multiple doors like in a building lobby, yep, I whistle the theme from ‘Get Smart.’ When I see two people that normally would not look like they belong together, I sing the ‘Odd Couple’ theme. At those times when I am overcome with the urge to dance the happy dance, I often hum the theme from ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show.’

Ok, I guess that was more than a few examples, but shirley surely you now know what I am talking about. Truth be told, you may have understood what I was talking about way back in paragraph two, verse one when Eve turned to Adam and mentioned something about an apple. Sorry, the verse, paragraph thing got me all biblical there for a moment. More than any of the other songs that are featured in my daily soundtrack, the one I enjoy most is by Carly Simon. And for those of you that guessed ‘You’re So Vain,’ well, you’re so wrong. It’s actually ‘Nobody Does It Better’ from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me.’ Granted, there are only about 7 words in the entire song that actually apply to me, but I hum it instead of singing it, so the words seem to lose their importance. Hmm, now I’m thinking I should pick a song where the words do matter. Oh blurg, I’ve just wasted your time…

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Randomocity – That’s all, just Randomocity

Put your gameshow host voices on and read the next line: It’s Friday and we know what that means…Randomocity!!! Actually, that might not be a bad idea for a game show title. The contestants could be presented a bunch of random photos or words by c-list celebrities and have to figure out what they all have in common. Although, I think we’ve played that before and it was called ‘Kindergarten.’ Oh well, at least it’s the end of the week. Unless of course you work weekends, but then you’ve been relaxing all week while we were all desk jockeying, so it’s hard (that’s what she said) to feel pity for you. And on to the randomness…

* Is ‘homey don’t play that’ still in use? I used it at work this week and the reaction I received gave me the overwhelming impression that it has been phased out for quite some time now.

* Was the El Camino the first hybrid vehicle? After all, it was part car and part truck. Or would that make it the first SUV? And isn’t SUV one of the 14 Law and Orders that appears hourly on TNT?

* Upon discovering that it was just me and another coworker who has the same ‘rank’ (for lack of a much better or even decently better word) in the office the other day, I started singing Lionel Richie’s ‘Just You and I.’ As our administrative staff started laughing at me, I stopped when I realized that the next verse dealt with love. Then I started a monologue about the fact that it was a duet but I couldn’t remember who Lionel sang it with, even though I thought it was Diana Ross. When I turned around to see if anyone else knew, I was all ‘Alone Again, Naturally (Gilbert O’Sullivan – did you remember to say that in a lower tone?) and probably had been for several minutes. It then becomes very difficult to look the people you work with in the eye for the rest of the day knowing that they don’t have enough respect for you to listen to you speculate who sang what with Lionel Richie. Now I just wish they’d all ‘Sail Away’ (Lionel Richie).

* Hopefully this year I won’t accidentally wish all the mom’s in the office a good mother’s day when I leave Friday afternoon by telling them ‘I hope all you muthas have a great day Sunday,’ like I did last year. I didn’t mean anything by it but sure took heat for it. I. Guess. I. Have. To. E-n-u-n-c-i-a-t-e. A. Little. Better. This. Year.

* Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio Down By The School Yard’ really is a great ditty. Perhaps I am just biased though. I work with a Julio AND I live in Corona. I still can’t get the Julio from my office to go to a school yard with me just so I can tell everyone that me and Julio were down by the school yard. Believe me, I’ve tried. I think he’s starting to figure out what I’m trying to do though every time I suggest we go play dodgeball during lunch.

* Would work be more enjoyable if we renamed it play, or would it still feel like work? And what would this do to the value of the word play?

* Steel drums are apparently my kryptonite. I hear them and I am rendered useless, but in a good way. Ok, so that’s not really kryptonite at all then, is it?

* To anyone who says global warming isn’t real, let me offer you this chilling (despite the fact I talking about warming of course) example. When I ate my traditional afternoon popsicle yesterday, it melted twice as fast as it usually does. It was a most inconvenient truth indeed.

* My discussion of the correct spelling of segue yesterday got a lot of people (like 3!!) thinking about the odd spellings of certain words. And speaking of the odd spellings of words, what’s the deal (in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice) with ‘beignet?’ Why don’t we spell it ‘Ben-Yay?’ It’s a lot more fun to spell it that way, which is appropriate given the amount of masticating (read it carefully again, I said masticating) joy it provides.

Have a great weekend and a very Happy Mutha’s Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And Speaking Of Segues…

I received a comment on yesterday’s post that I just could not ignore. I couldn’t ignore it for two reasons, actually. First, it mentioned creating a holiday and second, Blogger emails me whenever I get comments, so getting comments is pretty unavoidable, not that I’m complaining. I truly believe that man (or even woman) can live on comments alone. And speaking of living, my grass is finally turning green again after So Cal’s most recent heat wave. Yes, I realize that was a sub-par, non-booty kicking segue, but I’m just getting warmed up.

And speaking of segues or whatever else I began talking about in that last paragraph hanging up there above this one, Eva left a comment in yesterday’s post (remember when I mentioned that before I starting segueing) about having a National Segue Day. I’m all in favor of that and will spend the remainder of this post writing segues in my hopes of getting everyone excited about a National Segue Day. How will this segue experiment go? I have no clue. It’s either going to be great or turn out to be disastrous. And speaking of disastrous, what took that one county in Indiana so long to count their votes for the democratic primary last night? I swore Wolf Blitzer was going to start a mayoral smack down between the mayor whose votes were already in and the mayor who was still waiting for his people to count votes. Don’t worry folks, that was just another practice segue. I’m 16.4% positive that the remaining segues will go much better than expected.

And speaking of expected, why in the sphere that we live upon is segue not spelled ‘segway?’ We don’t pronounce it ‘seg-gooey’ or ‘seg-u,’ so why is it spelled ‘segue?’ I realize I am not an English professor and am a language slacker because I use kinda instead of kind of and I say Coke instead of soda or Kleenex instead of facial sanitary cloth, but ‘segue’ just makes no sense to me.

And speaking of not making any sense, I want to reinforce the fact that I am making a truly concerted effort (even though no music will be involved) to bringing the word ‘swell’ back into every day lingual use. I’ve just about given up hope on ‘excuse me, but I have to go x-ray my chicken’ because it doesn’t seem to be catching on. I think this may be related to the fact that so few of us actually own chickens. So instead, I shall focus on ‘swell.’ I mean ‘swell’ in the ‘gee Beav, that’s just swell’ sense, not the ‘it’s beginning to swell (that’s what she said)’ sense. I’ve been trying ‘swell’ out lately and I think it’s going pretty well. Try to use it yourself in the next few days and I guarantee when you do that you will be immediately transported to a much nicer and more innocent time when Ike was in the White House and it was still OK for men to BBQ outside in Bermuda shorts, colored socks and a ‘kiss the chef’ hat or apron. Or for those really saucy suburbanite males, both. Lo the many days I have been tending to the charcoal alter that other people call a grill just dreaming that I was wearing Bermuda shorts and ANYTHING that said ‘kiss the chef.’ I thought about asking Santa for some ‘kiss the chef’ apparel last year, but unfortunately I realized that ‘KISS the chef’ and KICK the chef’ would sound strikingly similar when uttered in a crowded mall whilst sitting upon a big sweaty man dressed in fur from his head to his foot. Or was that the soot, that was upon the big guy, from his head to his foot? I tried to go all Seuss there on you, but fear it didn’t work.

And speaking of BBQs and soot, this month is National BBQ Month. I am really excited (that’s what she said) about this fact. I plan on grilling all weekend and possibly every night for the rest of the month in honor. Since I have a charcoal grill though, it takes a bit longer than just walking outside and pressing a button that immediately delivers flame (not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean we all have our own way of doing things. I say pit master, you say easy propane cop out. I guess I didn’t mean for that to sound so ventive. Sorry). To deal with this longer time required to actually build and tend to the cooking fire, I am going to need to leave early every day. I have already started working on the email request to my boss about the necessity of leaving early every day. For some reason though, I am still having difficulty making the necessity of getting home in enough time to be able to have delicious grilled meat on the table before midnight sound like an important family issue or medical reason that would require me to leave early. I’m a go-getter though so I won’t give up until I do.

And speaking of go-getters, it’s time to refocus my energy on National Segue Day. I’m assuming (and remember what I always say: assuming does not make you an ass, it makes you a risk taker who has no fear in making semi-logical decisions based on too little information) that there is some national committee that presides over whether or not a proposed holiday actually becomes a holiday. It’s like congress, except the holiday people don’t take as many vacations, which is ironic considering they preside over holidays.

And speaking of holidays, I need to decide what day to propose that National Segue Day will be held on. I’m thinking it should begin about 11:30pm local time on some Thursday night. It seems like an odd time, but by starting at the end of a Thursday, it allows us to segue and celebrate right on into Friday. See, we’ll be seguing from the end of one day to the beginning of another. Then, we can spend all day Friday making bad segues from one topic to another, kind of like this: ‘did you hear the Morty down in accounting got bitten by a donkey last weekend? And speaking of asses, how about the new boss down in payroll. What a jerk.’

And speaking of ends, I am now done with this post. Hopefully National Segue Day will take off and become as popular a holiday as National Bacon Fat Day or Do Your Coworker’s Office Tasks For A Day, Day. I made those both up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually exist.

And speaking of making things up, I need to remember to turn that quarterly report in at work tomorrow…

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Grumpy Is As Grumpy Does

Ok, Ok, I know that I’ve been featuring 13,589 too many holiday noticements lately (I think I just used noticement in the wrong context, sorry) but if you hadn’t figured it out yet, I am going to come clean with you or possibly for you. When I can’t think of something to write, I know I can always fall back on a holiday that you have either never heard of or that you don’t believe exists and bastardize that for about 1,000 words. Today is one of those days. Actually, so was yesterday and I’m going to go ahead and warn you right now: tomorrow might me too.

Wednesday, May 7 is National Grump Out Day. The name of the holiday can be taken two ways, so I will make sure that by the time you are done reading this that you are fully versed in exhaustive detail about the appropriate way to celebrate National Grump Out Day. Or, I suppose when you are done reading about how to celebrate National Grump Out Day, you might not want to have anything to do with said holiday. The choice is yours. Nah, I really don’t care either way, I’ve just always wanted to say ‘the choice is yours’ one octave lower than I normally speak. For those of you playing along at home, just use the same low voice you would when you read something like this: ‘I woke up this morning and oddly enough, I saw both fire and rain (James Taylor).’

Now back to National Grump Out Day. Initially, you might think that the purpose of the day is to ‘get your grump on,’ as the kids say. It’s kind of like how ‘rock out’ means to start rocking and stuff or how ‘chill out’ means to calm down. In these cases, the ‘out’ actually means to begin, start or commence**. I know, it’s somewhat confusing. Just like that time I was introduced to frozen yogurt. Yes it was frozen, but it was nothing like I’d imagine if I had frozen a container of Yoplait at my house. Unless that’s just me…

Well, despite the proactive nature of ‘out’ in National Grump Out Day, Wednesday is actually the day we are supposed to ‘stamp out’ grumpiness. I guess in this sense the ‘out’ is being used like it is in The Great American Smoke Out, which is nothing like the way it’s used in the term ‘cookout,’ even though for me, cookouts usually become ‘smoke outs.’ Are you following all of this? Good, then you can email me and explain.

So, how does one work on eliminating grumpiness for just one day? Well, is LSD legal yet? I’m kidding, but speaking of LSD (and totally unrelated segues), did you know that it was accidentally discovered by a scientist (who happened to die last week, by the way) while searching for medicinal uses of a wheat fungus he discovered (or something like that)? Imagine how freaked out he was when he unexpectedly took his first ‘trip.’ Now you can put that in your useless trivia pipe and smoke it, in a non-drug type of way, of course. In another completely unrelated topic, you can now see the effects of an irregular heartbeat on the thinking patterns of a person who writes about nothing worthwhile. Not that this is an actual scientific or medical study (which I was tempted to tell you to deflect all criticism of this wayward post), but my thought pattern is all over the place today (oh hey, Paul Simon’s ‘Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard’ just came on. I love that song). See what I mean.

I suppose there are many ways to not be grumpy for a day. For me, the best way to eradicate grumpiness is to not have to show up for my job. As luck would have it, this week is ALSO ‘Flexible Working Arrangement’ Week. I ask you, could it have worked out any better? In fact, I already emailed my boss a proposal about being more flexible in my work arrangement Wednesday. Not only will it allow me to be happy instead of grumpy, but it’ll really benefit my joints. Get it? Flexible? Never mind. I did send him an email about working from home Wednesday in honor of this week and National Grump Out Day, but because I’m having trouble focusing my thoughts, I fear I also mentioned something about a raise in pounds of lobster instead of money and made some demand about having crème brule in the cafeteria or I was going on strike. Now that I’m thinking more about it, we don’t have a cafeteria at my office. Uh-oh.

We are all different and that means that our grumpy triggers are different from everyone else’s, except maybe the Rachael Ray grumpiness trigger because I’m pretty sure that’s a universal one. For some, the way to fight grumpiness may be a walk in the park, petting a puppy or even sledding down the stairs in your home. For others, it could be singing karaoke to the one hit wonders of the ‘70s or even going to a bowling alley, throwing the bowling ball straight up as high as you can, letting it hit the lane with a thunderous thud (thereby forcing everyone to look in your direction) and then exclaiming ‘ sorry, the hole’s a little sticky - -that’s what she said’ before a picture is taken of you, posted on the wall and you are asked scolded to never come back again.

THAT, is a grumpy deterrent. Well actually, it’s a fun deterrent to being grumpy, but I think that was self-explanatory. No matter what YOU decide to do, have a very happy National Grump Out Day!

**At least I think that’s what it means. In all actuality, I’m just guessing and taking a proverbial stab in the dark with my shiv made of bad grammar and random assumptions.

By the way, are you hungry? This is where I go to get my fix. Well, that and McDonald's and Islands and Chili's and Bucca Di Beppos and The Wood Ranch and, well you get the point. Seriously, visit here to read a great food blog by the LaVerne and Shirley of food blogs. You know, I probably should have checked with them before referring to them that way...

Monday, May 05, 2008

What To Celebrate First?

Hello there friends, it’s holiday time again (and again, sorry Kat). There are actually a few little celebrations on the calendar for Tuesday. I’ll delve into them one at a time, but first, a disclaimer. I tend to disclaim a lot of things. Perhaps this is because I know I’ll do something wrong or offend someone, yada, yada, yada, etc., etc. The current disclaimer of the day is: I’m writing this while under a bout of atrial fibrillation (as opposed to Monday’s which was: before you go into the office’s breakroom, I made the coffee today, but didn’t know about that little hole that you aren’t supposed to fill the water beyond, but I will clean it up, eventually. In the meantime just be careful where you step because I used all the ‘Wet Floor’ signs to help me build that fort in my cubicle). So, just like my heart rhythm, my thoughts may tend to be a little pitter-pat, pit, pit-patter, patter, pitter patteryish today.

Now, on to the frivolity and general madcap mayhem! Tuesday we celebrate National Teacher Day, No Diet Day and No Homework Day. It’s been my experience that holidays that start with the word ‘no’ are always a ‘yes’ in my book. Seriously, it took me half a day to come up with that line! As usual, I have no earthly idea how to celebrate any of these days, though honestly, I’m guessing that No Diet Day and No Homework day are pretty self-explanatory. National Teacher Day may take a little more effort, but since we aren’t going to be doing homework or focusing on our diets on Tuesday, I’m thinking we all have time to put forward the effort.

Let’s get the teacher one out of the way. If any teacher is reading this, I apologize and mean no offense. Though (and I realize this will be quite hard for you to believe) I wasn’t that good of a student, so teachers and I kind of had that Democrat/Republican animosity thing going on. The only exception of course being that we weren’t running for office. It’s funny really, after I’d do something wrong, like being a donkey’s ass in class (see my mad rhyming skillz there?), my teachers would have the memories of an elephant about it. Get it? Perhaps if I’d only acted independently…

Being the child of two lifelong educators, I learned a lot. Again, that’s a bad joke. All that really meant was that most of my teachers and school administrators knew one or both of my parents. I’m gonna clue you in here: when your K-12 goal is to be voted class clown and you’ve spent your entire education openly campaigning for it, having your parents be fairly well known in your school district is not a good thing!

However, I do realize how important educators are and that they are grossly underpaid (well, ok, I have to admit that’s what my mom says whenever we get together and I mention something about having to put the game or the race on, but I am going to agree with her this time). Teachers amaze me. They get up in front of a bunch of children or very young adults everyday and attempt to teach them and even mold them. I simply couldn’t do it. Put me in front of a bunch of students, especially young and impressionable ones, and I’d do all the wrong types of teaching. At the end of class they’d know how to do the Macarena or Hustle and would all be speaking like little John Waynes. Or, each day would be themed, such as Match Game Mondays where everyone would have to insert the word ‘blank’ into their sentences. Fridays at noon we’d all go play outside for the rest of the day and it would be really hard not to parade them down the hall as we carol (singing hits from the 70s) for other classrooms. Long overly illustrative story made short: I would not make a good teacher.

So, polish up an apple, get a fruit basket and show your child’s teacher just how important what they are doing really is. Your sons or daughters may be accused of brown nosing or being the teachers pet or even of being the classroom bee-otch, but doesn’t your child’s teacher deserve just a little something on National Teacher Day? Unless of course they are a mean teacher, then just ignore everything I just said, OK?

Speaking of mean teachers (and totally kick-booty segues), let’s now discuss No Homework Day. Does it strike anyone else as odd that No Homework Day would be on the same day as National Teacher Day? Suppose (which is much more elite than assuming) that your child’s teacher didn’t support or celebrate No Homework Day. Let’s also suppose that your child did support No Homework Day. Do you see where I’m going with this? Have I built up the penultimate struggle good and bad, right and wrong, frivolity and discipline, the dark side and the force, white chocolate and milk chocolate, those who like Barry Manilow and that many more who don’t?

The scenario I just mentioned would sure make for a lousy day for teachers On National Teacher Day as none of the students do their assigned homework. But then maybe it serves the teacher right for having the audacity to assign homework on No Homework Day. I think the master scheduler for all things holidayish really blew this one (that’s what she said). He/she must’ve only looked at the ‘Fun To Celebrate’ calendar and forgot to cross check it against the ‘Days you really don’t want to celebrate or recognize’ calendar. That last one is the one that has Tax Day and my birthday on it. Despite the conflicting holidays, one thing is for certain: you can darn sure bet Lucy and Ethel won’t be doing their homework Tuesday night, or even Monday night because that’s No Homework Day Eve (wait, since I just mentioned 2 children and 2 days, does that mean 4 things are for certain).

Now if you are thinking I saved the best day for last, you’d be absolutely right. It’s also No Diet Day!! Isn’t that just a swell holiday? If you are thinking it’s odd that I just used the word ‘swell,’ you are correct sir, or madam! I am going all out to bring ‘swell’ back the forefront of our lexicon. Here’s an example: ‘Don’t you think it’s just swell that I have to go x-ray my chicken right now?’ It flows so smoothly off the tongue, don’t you think? More about that later though because you are probably wondering what the best way to spend No Diet Day is. Well, oh if you’ll excuse me, the 4-cheese quesadilla with Chipotle Tabasco sauce and sour cream that I’m making in the microwave is ready…